Love Your Shorts Picture

UCF associate professor Lisa Mills, far left, led a panel of film-industry professionals during Education Day at the Love Your Shorts Film Festival on Thursday. The panel discussed efforts to increase film productions in Florida and what the community can do to help.

UCF film students shared their work during Education Day at the Love Your Shorts Film Festival sponsored by the UCF College of Arts and Humanities on Thursday at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in downtown Sanford. 

The event offered an opportunity for UCF students to submit films and be credited for their hard work. Education Day is a free workshop about the future of filmmaking in the state of Florida and features a screening of films by students.

A selection of eight UCF student films were shown ranging from comedy, to drama and documentary films. The films selected included "Radio Rage FM," "Calcutta Kolkata," "video 8 dreams," "Jason," "Astrid the Human," "Blame," "Lady Bikers" and "nothing is a thing."

UCF freshman film major Ryan Mayers attended the event to show his support for the Florida film industry.

“I have seen a lot of films before in previous showcases, but I was impressed with all the different genres of films that were presented," Mayers said. “During the event I was floored by all the technical ideas the filmmakers were able to add into their films.”

Senior film major Alan De Oliveira said he filmed his submission for the event in Kolkata, India. The film, "Calcutta Kolkata," showed the mixed perspectives of residents and visitors in the city. 

Kolkata, known as "The City of Joy," got its name by the people who live in the city embracing those who visit, De Oliveira said. He bonded with all sorts of people while he was in Kolkata filming, such as bikers, rappers, soccer players, goat wranglers, and artists.

"Watching my film, it reminded me of all the hard work my girlfriend and I put into making it as well as the two Indian students who also helped create it," De Oliveira said. “Every time I watch my film, it makes me emotional. I miss India and the friends I made there."

De Oliveira said that his film being a part of film festivals, such as Love Your Shorts, helps get his name out into the film industry and show people what he can do.

UCF associate professor Lisa Mills also led a panel of film industry professionals including Executive Director of Film Florida John Lux, Orlando Film Commissioner Sheena Fowler, and Florida Film Production Historian David Morton at the festival. The panel discussed the future of the film industry and efforts being made to increase the production of filmmaking in Florida.

Lux told the audience that since Memorial Day, he has made meetings to speak with Florida legislators. Out of the 55 he has spoken to so far, less than five said they were not interested in financially supporting the film production industry in Florida.

The panelists said  though they believe the government does not support the film industry in Florida financially, legislators are willing to help by sharing ideas of where to film and how to educate members of that community on current film productions. 

Fowler said that the Orlando Economic Partnership supports the Central Florida entertainment production community by working closely with film productions who want to take advantage of the premiere production facilities that the region has to offer.

“At this point once the incentive programs come back, the film industry will come back," senior film major Thomas Steele said. “The public and the film productions have done as much as they can do, and now it is up to the government to put in the rest of the work.”

The effort to increase film production in Florida is still a work in progress.

Without incentives from the Florida government, people such as Fowler and Lux said they must work harder to spread the word about local filmmakers to ensure film productions stay in Florida.

The panel ended their discussion with Mills saying that people can help spread the word about Florida film industry by trying to talk to decision makers, gate keepers and elected offices to spread the word at UCF about film. 

"We do not want to lose our film students to the film production industry in Georgia," Mills said. "We want to keep them in Central Florida."

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