Movie Night: Student Film Fright Fest

Movie Night: Student Film Fright Fest

By: Austin Childers

At 7 p.m. on Oct. 30 the Vaska Theater hosted “movie night at the Vaska.” The event showcased various student short films on the big screen. The event runs every semester and the competition’s genre changes with every event.

This competition’s genre was Halloween-themed with an emphasis on horror. The event also had a special viewing of the horror short film “Capitol of Conformity” one of the first entirely AI-generated short films. In addition to this short film, Dr. Matt Jenkins showed one of his older films and the trailer for his newest project “Static In The Ether.”

The four entrants into the competition were all local Cameron University students mostly in the JRMP and Communications departments. While Alec Santos, Hannah Owens and Gracie Trogdon have entered the competition previously there was one new entrant for this movie night.

Mike Luna entered his first piece for the competition. Luna’s piece was a comedic sitcom piece about a group of friends in Cameron’s Academic Commons with light horror elements.

Luna placed as a runner-up for the event with his first piece and plans to enter future movie nights.

Alec Santos’s piece “S.O.S.” took first place in the event. 

The piece follows two scientists who are trying to locate alien life in space before things go wrong in the second half of the movie. 

Santos is a long-time entrant in the previous competitions. 

“We wanted to get really ambitious with this one, our team did a great job and I’m happy with how the movie turned out,” Santos said.

Hannah Owens submitted her second piece for the event. Her piece follows someone living in North Shepler experiencing strange things when she gains a new roommate. 

“I think that this time around it went way smoother,” Owens said. “I plan on coming back next time and doing something even better.”

Owens’s piece placed as a runner-up for the event.

Gracie Trogdon’s piece follows a woman being stalked by a mysterious killer while taking pictures of the various murals around Lawton. 

This piece is Trogdon’s second entry at movie night. Trogdon’s piece placed as a runner-up.

“Capitol of Conformity” was the event’s special presentation. 

The award-winning short film has gained major attention as the film was created exclusively by AI. The film uses the roughness of AI to create dream-like scenes of terror using AI tools provided by Pikalabs and Midjourney. 

The next movie night will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov 21st featuring a showing of “Pleasantville” which includes a Q & A will be held with actor Justin Nimmo who plays Mark in the movie, as well as the Silver Power Ranger.

Movie night is an event that brings all kinds of people together once a semester to come and enjoy the cinema. Entry into the event is always free, and anyone can make a short film and have it shown at the event. With attendance numbers at the event constantly climbing, and entries growing in quality and length, the event is constantly getting better and more people are looking forward to it each semester. 

For more information, contact Dr. Matt Jenkins at

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