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Ole Miss Cinema Competition kicks off

September 30, 2010

Ole miss cinema moving forward

By Melanie Addington

Staff Writer


* This will be part of an occasional series that will follow several teams as they compete to win the cinema competition.


When Alan Arrivee began as the new film professor at the University of Mississippi this year he knew his experience with recently developing a screenwriting/production competition could help with potential plans for Ole Miss students. As part of his interview he was informed the department wanted to move forward with such a competition. Recently, he had developed one for Missouri Western State University where he previously taught after receiving his master in fine arts for writing for the screen and stage from Northwestern University .

Once hired, he quickly initiated the Ole Miss Cinema Competition that will allow groups of students to work in groups to create the proposal to make a short film and the chance to have the film screened this spring with the chance of winning $500 towards the film budget.

“I thought it especially important, considering the fact that students here did not have a history of creating their own shorts from script through to final motion picture,” Arrivee said. “I also believe that healthy competition can raise the stakes and build enthusiasm among students. I remembered my own experience as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, how the theatre department’s playwriting competition had motivated me to take ideas I had and actually get the words on the page.”

Arrivee began this year to help develop the new Cinema Studies minor that may be approved as early as next fall.

“I chose to take the position her at Ole Miss for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I just liked the feel of the place, both the university and the Oxford area. I was also told over the phone…that whoever got the job would be expected to help bring about an official “Film Studies Minor.” I enjoy building things and the idea appealed to me.”

Arrivee discovered that the support for the new minor and the excitement of students to learn about film was infectious and easy to start anew in Oxford.

“I’m already really enjoying teaching here. The students are truly interested in learning more about the cinema side, from screenwriting to acting to producing and directing to editing,” Arrivee said. “I’ve threaded my classes together through shared projects so that each class learns how they fit in to the overall process.”

Arrivee said that the new minor will help students with their cinema production classes to strike a balance between production and studies and to make further connections in the community by getting involved with existing opportunities such as the Oxford Film Festival, the library and other institutions.

“I’ve been extremely pleased by how open to suggestions those involved in the proposed minor have been,” Arrivee said. “I’ve felt very welcomed as a newcomer here, and everyone involved has contributed with an eye toward what’s best for this interdisciplinary minor. We’ve made a lot of progress in a short time, and I have every reason to believe that there will be an official Cinema Minor on the books for this coming Fall Semester.”

The competition application involves writing a script for a short film that will be shot on HD. The maximum length is 15 minutes. Along with the script, a storyboard, shot list, equipment request, budget proposal, production team list and typewritten proposal must be included. The budget proposal must include how you would spend the $500. The winner and runners-up will be announced by December 3 which then gives them until Feb. 11 to finish production. Postproduction work must be completed by March 28 with the screenings to be held April 7-9 in Meek Auditorium as part of the Ole Miss Theatre season. The winner will also work with Ole Miss costume designers Bethany Reeves and Casey Edwards.

Proposals are due Nov. 12. Submissions are not accepted online and the packet must be dropped at Isom 110 anytime Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For questions, e-mail Arrivée at




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