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About Campus MovieFest

The History of CMF

Originally created by four students at Emory University in 2001, and now the world's largest student film and music festival, CMF is the only event of its kind to provide Apple laptops, Panasonic HD camcorders, and training all for free to students around the globe. Students at participating colleges and universities have one week to create their own short movies, with each school hosting red carpet finales to showcase its top movies. The best of the best moved on to compete against hundreds of other top shorts at Campus MovieFest in Hollywood.

All the movies are five minutes or less, and use music created by the students themselves or contributed by thousands of independent artists. Awards are presented for Best Picture, Best Comedy, Best Drama, the Elfenworks Social Justice Award, CMF 3D, and many special CMF Golden Tripod Awards. Over the past ten years, students have earned over $2 million in prizing and cash. Thousands of past movies are available for viewing online at campusmoviefest.com, as well as in-flight on Virgin America, on mobile phones, and at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival.

The CMF Family



David Roemer

Founder / CEO
David Roemer is Co-founder and CEO of Ideas United, the creators of the world's largest student film festival, Campus MovieFest (CMF). David and his team started CMF as students at Emory University in Atlanta in 2001. He now oversees the long-term strategy for CMF to make sure the next 10 years of CMF are even more incredible than the first 10 years, including generating partnerships with industry leading companies, nonprofits, and individuals to offer students unforgettable opportunities. His previous experience includes working for Apple's marketing team for many years, advising various companies and nonprofits in the US and UK, and playing a bit of golf before CMF took over his life. Everyone else listed on this page no longer lets David make movies, and yes, he is bitter about that because he was quite proud of the one he made about students who were sitting in CMF massage chairs.

Dan Costa

Founder / President
Dan is the Co-Founder and President of CMF, and helped to create the event eight years ago while majoring in Business at Emory University. He oversees daily operations and supervises the involvement of CMF at every school. Dan is excited to see CMF continue expanding to all U.S. states and numerous countries worldwide. He believes that everyone has a story and wants to give students the means to share their stories with the world. When he's not working at CMF (which isn't often), Dan is playing and watching sports such as hockey, soccer, and basketball, traveling, and hanging out with his wife.

Ajay Pillarisetti

Founder / Vice President of Marketing
Ajay helped kick-off Campus MovieFest back in 2001, as a Biology student at Emory University, and has been involved with the festival ever since. He also has an MPH degree in Global Enviornmental Health from Rollins School of Public Health. Ajay has experience in teaching and advising college and master's students in the US, India, and Nepal. While in India and Nepal, Ajay worked with students on documentary filmmaking. In September of 2007, Ajay traveled to the Rasuwa District and Kathmandu in Nepal to write, direct, and edit a short documentary called "Indoor Health Pollution - A Global Health Concern," about indoor air quality in Nepal to raise awareness of indoor air pollution and its role in human health. When he's not working on CMF related projects, Ajay enjoys photography and travel.

Vijay Makar

Founder / Vice President
Vijay "Gifted" is how Vijay's third grade teacher once described him; a name that he has carried with him ever since. Born in West Virginia but raised in an ancient dojo in Japan, Vijay's aspirations to become a Ninja master were shattered when he accidentally sliced his sansei in half with a sweet katana blade he forged himself. Deciding that his talents would be suited for the business world, Vijay completed his studies at Emory University where he earned a very expensive degree in business concentrating in marketing, decision information analysis and earning a cute little studio arts minor. Somewhere along the way, he founded Campus MovieFest with some friends which was pretty awesome.
Years later, Vijay continues to awe and inspire everyone he comes in contact with. As Vice President of Ideas United, Vijay has helped build the CMF team while manning the ever so popular HR role in the company. When he isn't busy making sure that no one is getting sexually harassed he helps manage a lot of the operations at IU - ensuring that everyone has the resources and know-how they need and that they are using them in an efficient and manner (he's cheap). While he never achieved Ninja status in martial arts - he does deem himself an Adobe Ninja God and helps out with a lot of the design efforts. Vijay is a brilliant golfer, a phenomenal photographer, and he likes to BBQ and drink beer - a lot. His wife and dogs have the immense pleasure of spending time with him in their free time.

Abe Mohammadione

All that is Video / VP of Production
Abe has been with CMF since 2004 and before that studied Cinema and Physics at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He also had the luxury of watching every single film created during his first four years at CMF. Abe oversees all the production work at CMF including the CMF Events, Video Blogs & CMF'er Wedding Videos. His previous experience includes producing the OHHS Tech Expo in 1998 with David Roemer and he tries to help with a little of everything.

Megan Southwell

Director of MarCom
Megan has been with CMF since 2007 and before that received her BFA in graphic design from Georgia State University. She singularly holds down the CMF Los Angeles office. In her free time she likes to craft, read YA novels, and watch vampire tv shows.

Brandon Chong

Director of Educational Programs
Brandon has been involved in higher education leadership development and organization advisement for eight years prior to joining CMF. Having studied Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education at Central Connecticut State University, Brandon spent his first two years in the Constitution State. His next six years were spent at The University of Tampa where he met the CMF team and played a major role in bringing CMF to UT for the first time. Brandon has been with CMF for two years. He loves most sports including college football and basketball. Brandon enjoys spending his free time with his family.

Mikey Seminer

Director of Initiatives
Michael got his first introduction to CMF by attending an info session as an Emory U Freshman in the Fall of 2001. Michael went on to compete and win best picture at CMFs 2nd ever red carpet event in the Spring of 2002. He continued to help organize the Atlanta CMF events as a student and in 2005 graduated with a bachelor of arts in business administrations. After spending a year traveling to Australia and China he joined back up with the CMF team full time. In 2008, Michael took some time to study at the London School of Economics where he earned a Masters degree in Media and Communications. Upon his return from London, Michael has lead the launch of IU Productions, the Distinguished Filmmakers Network, and College Battle of the Bands. When Michael's not doing all things CMF, he relaxes by taking photographs, running, hitting the links, and enjoying the great outdoors. Michael is known as Mikey to the CMF team and is also a professional speed walker holding 4 individual records and 2 team records worldwide.

Jessica Reynoso

Executive Assistant of the CEO
Jessica made several short films and music videos as a film major at Emerson College and also has a background in theater and live award show production. Jessica was the first Campus Ambassador at Emerson and played an instrumental role in bringing CMF to the campus. On a daily basis, she coordinates communication between CMF partners as well as organizes CMF workshops and industry relationships for CMF Hollywood and beyond. Before joining Campus MovieFest, Jessica worked at Type A Films where she read lots of scripts and helped with production & development of feature films. Jessica grew up in New Mexico where she once fell in a cactus - she does not recommend doing that. In Jessica's free time she likes to spend time with friends, watch movies, read, and chill with her awesome dog, Riley.

Matthew Garcia

Tour Manager
Matt was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he worked on the television series "Breaking Bad" and received his B.A. in Cinematic Arts from the University of New Mexico. Matt also founded a video production company and produced works that have screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival and on the Independent Film Channel. In addition, Matt directed a short film festival, Wild Bill's Crazy Film Festival, and a summer filmmaking camp, the Junior Filmmaker Academy. When not touring the country for CMF Matt enjoys going on hikes with his wife, house training his new pug Baxter, researching green chile recipes and trying to knock out the entire Sight and Sound 50 Greatest Films.

Nathan Okuley

Tour Manager
Nathan came to CMF from Columbus, Ohio with a B.S. in Marketing and Communications from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and has worked with companies including Southwest Airlines and the Dallas Mavericks. He is currently a Tour Manager and Social Media Manager for CMF and Ideas United. He continues to pursue his dreams of being an entrepreneur, passionate about coffee, social justice issues, advertising/branding, and social media. Nathan started making films in 9th grade and has collected over 250,000 views via YouTube. While touring across the country for CMF, Nathan can be found jumping out of planes, critiquing local cafes, and finding the best way to cook with eggs, all with a simple life philosophy in mind: "live the dream daily".

Nishant Gogna

Promotions Manager
Nishant is a Promotions Manager for Campus MovieFest, where he promotes and manages. Nishant also finds his employee title to be accurately descriptive. Nishant likes being on campus, watching movies, and attending fests of all kinds. It's no surprise then that he finds himself strangely drawn to the world of Campus MovieFest. In his spare time, you can find Nishant working. Nishant enjoys promoting his next ill-advised entrepreneurial endeavor, writing quick career-related biographies of himself, and world peace.

Jaime Curtis

Promotions Manager
Jaime serves as our local native of the Sunshine State growing up and residing in Cocoa, Florida and attending the University of Central Florida. Currently in her junior year, Jaime coordinates media contacts, promotional events, and is the all-around jack of all trades when needed. In the few hours that Jaime isn't working, she can be found juicing up a mean treat or dancing the night away with a fearless joy for people.

Logan Williams

Promotions Manager
Logan's history with CMF started way back in '06 as a student at the University of Georgia - while there she studied journalism participated in 2 student films that she will neither divulge or ever live down within the CMF family. Never the less, she fell in love with the experience and the organization and thus CMF was stuck in the back of her mind while she gained experience in the marketing / promotions industry around Atlanta. Until one day when she found her way into the central staff where her love of storytelling and marketing were finally merged into a superpower of awesome movie promotional love. She now works as a Promotional Manager, traveling the country and encouraging students to participate and tell their story through CMF. When not promoting for CMF, you'll find Logan reading Harry Potter books, with her family in Augusta, or listening to some indie band in little 5. If you see her, buy her a PBR.

Avery Grant

Promotions Manager
CMF first met Avery while she was a student at Loyola University Chicago. She was the President of LUC's Film Club for three years before graduating magna cum laude with a BBA in Management and Marketing in 2012. A film enthusiast at a young age, Avery's first movie was a remake of Frankenstein starring her sister and shot on her Dad's Hi8. She took film classes in high school and was an anchor on the morning announcements. When not promoting CMF or crewneck sweatshirts, she enjoys thrifting, reading, puzzles, and watching entire TV seasons in one sitting.

Evan Padgett

Video Manager
Evan won the CMF Best Picture award for a project he created while at The University of Georgia, where he studied Telecommunication Arts, Journalism, and Film. He is a recipient of the Poo Industries Lifetime Achievement Award for creating films over several years and making a lasting impact on CMF. One of Evan's short films screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Evan has been creating (and inspiring) short films since high school. He has enjoyed watching CMF grow from its humble beginnings to blossom into the impressive program it has become today. Evan enjoys keeping that youthful spirit of CMF alive, and keeping CMF focused on important day-to-day operations. He spends his leisure time working on film projects and entering online video contests, watching awesome movies and TV shows, and of course, causing trouble.

J.R. Hardman

Video Manager
J.R. got involved with CMF because they were looking for someone who could edit video, speak Spanish, and could edit video in Spanish to serve as Video Manager for the first ever CMF Mexico Tour. By a great stroke of luck, she just happened to fulfill those requirements. J.R. studied both filmmaking and Spanish at the University of Southern California. She has produced, directed, edited, written, or sound designed films and videos in both English and Spanish, some of which have screened in festivals like Outfest, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the Arnold Sports Film Festival, and Shriekfest. She enjoys short walks on the beach, appreciates the acting in Drive Angry 3-D, sings Sacred Harp, reenacts the Civil War, and admits she's kind of a weirdo.

Caitlin Wert

Video Manager
Caitlin has always been a film enthusiast. Her first true inspiration for filmmaking came about in the form of a Christmas short when she was a freshman in high school (yes, this movie exists on YouTube; hint: elves). As fate would have it, Caitlin met the CMF crew while she was attending the 2011 Cannes Film Festival in France. At the time, she was a student at Georgia State University, where she later went on to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Film/Video. Once she returned home to Atlanta, she interned with CMF for about a year and eventually earned the title of Video Manager. When she's not shooting or editing, she enjoys talking about gnomes, penguins, and France.

Vikas Shah

IU Productions Project Manager
A snappy dresser and a snappier lover, Vikas is mysteriously bound to CMF, and CMF to him. While five-yearing it at the University of Georgia - picking up a Bachelor of Arts in Music, a secondary in Mass Communication, and certificate in Music Business - Vikas decided to spend his free time watching and making films, rather than getting sleep or going on dates. After participating in and rocking Campus MovieFest for four years, his team received the first CMF Poo Industries Lifetime Achievement Award. Vikas joined CMF's traveling staff as a Video Manager in 2009, helping students around the nation make films and lose sleep. Currently, he is a Project Manager for Ideas United Productions, as well as a freelancing photographer, music composer, and recording engineer. After clocking out for the day, Vikas can be found playing one of a half-dozen instruments in his home studio, making funny videos with Poo Industries (they still exist!), running away from bugs, and watching Braves baseball.

Annie Greenwood

Distinguished Filmmakers Network Coordinator
Annie came to CMF through Northeastern University's co-op program in 2010. She chose CMF because the job listing said Seattle, which, in fact, was completely untrue. After completing her internship, she maintained a close connection with the company and would appear from time to time at events, usually with little warning, until she graduated from NU with a BA in Organizational Communications, whatever that means. CMF finally sucked it up and hired her full-time in the fall of 2011, and she currently manages The Campus Rep Program, The Distinguished Filmmakers Network, and dabbles in project management for Ideas United Productions. She loves hockey (like, a lot), Kurt Vonnegut, and Irish holidays, and thinks football season is the greatest time of year.

Sarah Walpert

Social Media Intern
Sarah came to CMF in February as part of the stellar social media team. She is also part of the promotions team for College Battle of the Bands. Prior to joining the CMF family, she was living in Los Angeles doing social media and online sales for TOMS Shoes. She attended school at College of Charleston and Florence University of the Arts in Italy, before settling down and graduating from University of Georgia w/ a degree in Advertising. She loves working with passionate young filmmakers and musicians who share inspiring stories every day. Sarah also enjoys writing, traveling, sports, red wine, and long moonlit walks on the beach.

Ruthie Rudnick

Tour Co-op
Ruthie first became affiliated with CMF in Fall 2012 as the Campus Activities Board Cinema Director in charge of bringing CMF to her school (The University of Central Florida). There she fell in love with the event and the friendly staff. Ruthie is currently 1 semester away from obtaining a B.S. Degree in Event Management from UCF. When not spreading the joy of student filmmaking with the world, Ruthie enjoys going to music festivals, salsa dancing and photography!

Graylin Taylor

Video Intern
It's amazing what a difference a year makes between Graylin and CMF. Graylin was introduced to CMF in early 2011 while assisting with a CMF film at Georgia State University. Graylin got a closer glimpse of the way CMF operates during an internship at the Cannes Film Festival. He was inspired by the company and decided to join the team as a video production intern. Graylin is currently finishing his last semester at Georgia State University, obtaining a BA in Film and Video. Graylin is well known for his fun, energized spirit and strong passion for film. He is determined to learn as much as he can in order to become a better filmmaker. When he isn't talking about or making films, Graylin enjoys listening to music, dancing, and working towards being a barbecue sauce connoisseur.

Josh Sterling

Video Manager

Josh came to CMF as an intern, where he kept his nose to the grind, and earned his stripes. Shortly thereafter, Josh found his way to the position of “Video Manager”, and now roams the United States protecting and curating the best student films ever made. Before finding his way to the hallowed grounds of Campus Moviefest, he studied Film and Video at Georgia State University, earning his degree in 2010. Josh is really into movies of all kinds, and can (and will) probably talk your ear off about them if you let him. He also enjoys long walks, not necessarily on the beach, but just long walks. He enjoys Mexican food too, especially the free chips and salsa part.