About Campus MovieFest

The History of CMF

Campus MovieFest was founded in 2001 by four then-students at Emory University. Over the last 15 years, CMF has grown to give more than one million students access to all of the equipment and training they need to make a five-minute film in one week, including Apple laptops loaded with Adobe Creative Cloud, Panasonic HD Cameras, state-of-the-art sound equipment from Sennheiser, and external hard drives—all for free.

Students at over 30 participating colleges and universities compete, with each school hosting its own red-carpet finale event to showcase its top films. The best of the best move on to the Campus MovieFest Grand Finale, a jam-packed weekend dedicated to celebrating the creativity of young filmmakers around the globe. Awards are presented for overall Best Picture, Best Director, Best Story, and - for the first time ever - Best Sound, along with many other special CMF Golden Tripod Awards. CMF also teams up with The Elfenworks Foundation to award films with a message about social justice, encouraging students to inspire hope and provoke change through filmmaking. More than two million dollars in cash and prizes has been awarded to students over the last 15 years. CMF films have also been shown in-flight on Virgin America, online at campusmoviefest.com, at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival, and beyond.

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

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.

Brandon Chong

Vice President of Education
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.

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.

Mikey Seminer

Vice President
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.

Jaime Curtis

Jaime comes to us from the Sunshine State with a BS degree in Event Management. She started with CMF as a Co-Op rolling out the red carpet for students from Florida to Boston. In the few hours that Jaime isn't coordinating with CMF partners, she can be found spoiling the office pups, watching college football (go UCF Knights) or dancing the night away!

Avery Grant

Director of Operations
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.

J.R. Hardman

Senior Tour 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. Since then, J.R. has filled almost every CMF touring position including Video Manager, Promotions Manager, and Tour Manager, and she is now working as Director of Operations for all the tours. 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 is currently directing a feature-length documentary called Reenactress, which explores the history and experiences of female Civil War reenactors who cross-dress as male soldiers in order to fight on the battlefield. 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.

Claire Pope

Distinguished Filmmakers Network Manager
Claire joined Ideas United to help connect the best CMF filmmakers with creative and production opportunities through the Distinguished Filmmakers Network. She builds crews for projects, communicates with DFN members, coordinates logistics for shoots, and makes a lot of lists for organizational purposes. She earned a BA in film studies from Columbia University, where she played a key role in bringing CMF to campus in 2014. She crewed on numerous short films in college and on several professional sets in Atlanta before joining the DFN team. She enjoys quirky movies, dancing, and geeking out at museums.

Wey Lin

Promotions Manager
Wey is a broadcast journalism graduate from the University of South Florida with an affinity for both film and discovering new puns with her name. She has considered calling herself a professional intern after working with companies at the Cannes Film Festival, Paramount Pictures at the Sundance Film Festival, various production studios, and ABC Action News. Wey also served as the Program Manager of the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, overseeing the screening committee and assisting the Program Director in organizing one of the top film festivals in Florida. She met the CMF crew whilst working at the Cannes Film Festival and decided to hitch a ride by becoming a Promotions Manager. Thankfully, she has yet to regret this decision. Wey enjoys giving off the impression that she exercises, chicken wings, and the perks of college without all the studying.

Elijah Willis

Video Manager
Elijah Willis graduated from Indiana University in 2013 with a BA in Theatre & Drama. Campus Moviefest gave him the opportunity to study film at a school with no film program as a student, and he is now honored to be video managing on tour and able to help from the other side of the table.

Mac Capen

Video Manager
Mac Capen is a world-renowned biomechanical engineer with a rainbow belt in Tae Kwon Do, a customized Mercedes version of “The Homer” (complete with a horn that plays La Cucaracha), and can speak every language across the universe…except Spanish. He’s also a compulsive liar. Mac lived in California for sixteen years before tolerating his move to Massachusetts to go to Bridgewater State University. He was there way longer than he should have. Like way too long. Mac also did this weird little thing called Campus MovieFest, which he participated in for four years and went out to Hollywood multiple times to manipulate his way into working with them. Now he pretends he knows video production, but really he is just a dinosaur. And what do dinosaurs know?

Sam Chidley

Tour Manager
Sam graduated from the University of Southern California in 2008 with a BA in film production. Since then he has worked in film, education, travel and logistics and now considers himself very fortunate to have a job that lets him do all of the above. In his spare time Sam enjoys writing short stories and poetry, reading in parks, contemplating existence in cafes, or forgetting about it during happy hour. If he were an animal he would be a flying squirrel. His favorite color is blue and his favorite food is a burrito. Pet peeves include paying rent, traffic jams and violence.

Buck Rogers

Tour Manager
Buck spent his early days galavanting around the world for the US NAVY and F.B.I. In his free time, he moon-lighted as a self-taught videographer, serving bands in the local music scenes in Washington DC and Philadelphia. Eventually Buck gave up the government racket to pursue a degree in Tourism & Event Management from Sullivan University in Louisville, KY. Prior to joining CMF, Buck was touring the country as a Festival Manager for the Obstacle Course Racing series BattleFrog.

Alex McGill

Promotions Manager
Alex, whose real name is a secret even to the NSA, studied International Relations, Criminal Justice, and Film and Media Studies at the University of South Carolina (The Original USC). While she has a passion for foreign affairs, her love of goofing off and making incredible films led her to CMF. After participating for several years, she traveled the world reading books, sailing on yachts, going to billionaires’ parties, and selling tiny hats for chinchillas. Quite a lucrative business. Deciding to take a break from the cutthroat world of tiny retail wombat bespokers she joined the CMF team. Much like a traveling circus, she journeys around the world with CMF bringing the best experience you’ll have in a week to universities everywhere.

Michaela Holland

Michaela MB Holland is from Anaheim California. She is currently a Communication Studies major at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, an avid photo bomber and loves pie. She enjoys traveling, as well as staying in one place. Her interest in movies stems from her love of watching other people do exciting things, while not having to move a muscle. Michaela is stoked to see what amazing features her college peers produce for CMF and eager to feel ordinary in contrast.

Rebecca Sirull

Rebecca is a fourth year communication studies major at Northeastern University and a Massachusetts native. She loves expressing her hometown roots by aggressively hating the Yankees while drinking Dunkin Donuts and defending her use of the word “wicked.” When she’s not at CMF failing to keep up with the rest of the staff’s movie knowledge, she enjoys throwing plastic discs around a field and making terrible puns. She once ate an entire bag of hershey kisses in one sitting.

Steve Showstead

Steve is a junior at Northeastern University majoring in Communication Studies. Currently a member of the California/Arizona (Calzone) tour, Steve has been interested in pursuing a career in entertainment for as long as he can remember. In his free time you can find Steve playing music, enjoying a game of basketball, sleeping, or watching the entire 'Game of Thrones' series for the fourth time. Born and raised in Massachusetts, he is excited to see what the West Coast is all about while spending time working with his team this fall.