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
"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.

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.

Tanner Pemelton

Director of Operations
Tanner is a graduate of the of the FILM BFA program at UCF. Being heavily involved with video production and creation, he was excited to join CMF to help spread the love of filmmaking to students across the nation. Outside of CMF, Tanner still pursues creating work within realms of the narrative film and video installations. He also enjoys walking his girlfriend’s golden retriever Riley, holding political discussions, and of course bad dad jokes.

Julia Howard

Marketing Coordinator
If you’ve ever really loved (or hated) a CMF post on social media, you can probably thank (or blame) Julia. She’s the Wizard of Oz for CMF socials, but less old and much more magical. When she’s not busy guiding the promotions managers to excellence, she’s hanging out with friends or someone from her very large family. Julia dances like Charlie Brown, and yes, she’s aware of it. Her severe wanderlust and hanger led to her travels and cooking skills respectively. She can (and will) make a mean pecan pie bar! Julia decided to stay in Atlanta after graduating from Emory University, but she’s originally from a tiny farming town called Poolesville, MD.

Alexandra Singerman

Accounts Manager
Alexandra is a public relations grad from Xavier University who recently joined the team as an Account Manager for CMF's incredible partners. Originally from Buffalo (yes, it's actually the original birthplace of the chicken wing), Alexandra got tired of building snowmen and decided to pack up and move south. She knew she had found her new home when she found out that the CMF office was dog-friendly. When she's not busy coordinating with partners, she can be found feeding office pups an obscene amount of treats, listening to the most influential rapper of our time, Designer, and perfecting her line of streetwear (hitting shelves in the near future).

Christian Kramar

Tour Manager
Christian Kramar was born and raised in the state of New Hampshire. After an undisclosed amount of time, he decided to hit the road. He's made the world his home and has been cruisin' USA for the past few years. His passions include standing on rocks, dancing badly, and driving box trucks. He's definitely a sunset type of guy.

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?

Raghav Ravichandran

Promotions Manager
Raghav Ravichandran was a CMF participant at San Jose Sate University before he graduated with a film degree in 2016. Throughout his life, he's loved the arts, from filmmaking to music and theatre. After a few months of post-graduate travel and a series of existential crises, he is back at it on the other side of the CMF Tour as the Promotions Manager. Rags to Riches is a ball of energy that loves to interact with people and experience the unique experiences that life has to offer, but is also an avid nap-taker. Besides his passion for cinematography and good fashion, he also has a great love for Emma Watson, Indian food, travel, and breathing air. He’s definitely a sunrise type of guy.

Zac Lovelace

Tour Manager
Zac serves as the Atlanta Tour Manager, bringing his experience as a repair technician at Apple and as a CMF alum to each school on their schedule. In his spare time, he enjoys running and screenwriting. Zac and his wife currently reside in Kirkwood with their cat, Scout.

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.

Josh Burkholder

Promotions Manager
Josh is a recurring face on and off the CMF screen, and the self-appointed loudest person at most gatherings. His laugh often proceeds him in a cacophonous roar. He also tends to favor run-on sentences. Josh fell in love with CMF while studying acting and design for film & theater at Indiana University. Being the eternal CMF fanboy that he is, he was stoked to take on the role of Promotions Manager on two different tours. This helped Josh's horizons and travel rate go up exponentially, and gave him the opportunity to explore the country and engage other weird artsy kids. When not promoting for CMF, Josh can be seen acting, enjoying art, creating music, breathing, studying botany, petting dogs, sleeping anywhere, and being pseudo-Amish.

Callan Piazza

Promotions Manager
Callan is a graduate of Stetson University. She studied Psychology and worked for the student programming board, where she was introduced to CMF. She is originally from Buffalo, New York, and — despite witnessing any significant success as a NFL team in her lifetime — she is still somehow a devoted Bills fan. And, yes, she knows her last name sounds like pizza.

Quincy Bazan

Tour Manager
Quincy grew up bouncing around from country to country before he ended up in a little town called Tampa. He studied theatre at the University of South Florida, where one fateful day he stumbled across a flyer for a video competition he'd never heard of. "Campus MovieFest?" he thought. "Sounds silly". Quincy launched his CMF career with the now-iconic film Sincerely. After four years and five films, Quincy went on to win the National Best Picture award in 2016 for his film Flusical!- the only musical to ever win the first place prize. Nowadays you can find Quincy on the other side of the game -- lurking, watching, and searching for the next big thing. Maybe even the next Quincy.

Trent Bellet

Video Manager
Trent graduated from the University of South Florida, triple majoring in Studio Art, Mass Communications, and Being in A Thousand Places at Once. He got involved in CMF because he is passionate about learning about film, animation, and multimedia, and teaching and encouraging others to tell stories through these mediums. When not doing Video Manager things, Trent can be found reading books with gusto, learning new software, drawing, befriending strange cats, and occasionally taking leisurely strolls in the eldritch recesses of the Void. He once helped break a world record, twice graduated as his twin brother, thrice danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, and four times stepped on the devil's toes throughout. It was pretty awkward.

Joey Engelman

Promotions Manager
Joey, a recent graduate from UCF’s film program, loves talking in third person. While in college, Joey founded a secret underground tree climbing club. (People are often confused – are the trees underground? No, the club is underground, as in not school affiliated and very hip and happenin’.) Growing up, his peers universally agreed that Joey’s celebrity doppelgänger was Eric Forman. Joey knows what it’s like to live in misery because he’s a life-long Miami Dolphins fan. He’s accidentally obsessed with Big Brother, and will debate to no end that it’s not a reality show, it’s the only reality show. Joey loves the traveler’s lifestyle, he just spent 4 months traveling around America in his car. It looks like I’m about to reach my word limi

Wey Lin

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.