Students start contest to show other forms of diversity
The idea of a “minority” often brings to mind peoples’ differences in race and religion.
But for Bryant White, the founder of A.Bevy.Productions, Inc. and creator of the MOVell Film Festival, the word minority can mean an apple in a pile of oranges.
The film festival, which is accepting student submissions until Nov. 1, focuses in on that idea. Directors are encouraged to find various minority issues and highlight them in their films, which will be on display Nov. 3–18.
“When it comes to an actual minority issue, we want to invite students to actually think,” said White, a fourth-year management student. “When we say the word ‘minority,’ we’re not talking about just African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans.”
White was inspired to use the festival as an A.Bevy.Productions event because he wants the South Carolina community, specifically USC, to understand that minorities come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are many issues to be discussed and remedied, White said. This idea works well with A.Bevy.Productions, White said, because of its focus on bringing the best out of both students at the university and citizens of South Carolina.
A.Bevy.Productions was founded in 2009 — its USC sector in 2012 — and has spread statewide. The nonprofit organization raises money by hosting various events and by taking donations. All funds raised go directly into A.Bevy’s scholarship and event fund.
The proceedings left over from the MOVell Film Festival will also go to that fund, which awards a $1,000 scholarship every spring to a USC student and offers scholarships to other students in the state.
For the first two weeks of the festival, films will be posted online and voted by viewers and A.Bevy’s board members. On each Saturday and Sunday, two films will be chosen to go on as finalists to be judged by a panel of USC media arts professors and Columbia Film Society members.
Films will be chosen based on the criteria of purpose, originality, acting, writing/screenplay and musical score. They are weighted by importance in that order, and “purpose,” the largest, will comprise 30 percent of the overall score.
White said the competition is open to as many participants as enter and pay a $20 entry fee. The winners will receive a $500 grand prize paid for by the entry fees.
Imari Anderson, the creator of “Skisters” — a YouTube show well-known on campus — isn’t participating in this year’s festival, but he is a creator of the festival with Raven Joyner.
“Bryant (White) knows I have some experience in film and productions, so he asked me to help out,” said Anderson, a third-year media arts student. “I’m really excited and looking forward to it. Overall, I think it’ll be a good view into the types of issues students at USC have or are currently experiencing.”
While Anderson is also on the board of the festival, his blanket production company, Surviving Child, is also promoting, co-hosting and advising the festival.
Anderson believes the festival will help all filmmakers hone and develop their skills, particularly when it comes to choosing an important topic and getting to the point, since the length requirement is between seven and 10 minutes.
“We want to give back to people of USC and Columbia by encouraging change and growth,” White said. “We believe that the MOVell Film Festival is a creative, fun way to do that.”