By Candy Rendon
Baylor students interested in filmmaking now have the opportunity to become nationally recognized. SeeFlik.com has partnered with Baylor and several other prestigious universities to bring students closer to the film industry. By developing a one-of-a-kind outlet, the company is changing the way students appeal to their audiences.
SeeFlik.com is a website film festival. It is open to current students and alumni (those who have graduated within five years) of an accredited film school, including Baylor.
Students may create an account for free and upload their projects to the website’s large collection of short films, documentaries and experimental videos. Submissions are then posted to the website’s viewing section, where anyone with access to the Internet can watch.
But why should students view SeeFlik differently than South by Southwest or New York Film Festival?
“It’s the first of its kind,” said Lawrence Meli, chief executive officer of SeeFlik. “When my son was in film school at NYU, he and his friends competed in the school’s festival, but only my son was accepted. I wanted to allow more students to showcase their work to the public, and the Internet is big enough to do that.”
Students who have been denied access into other film festivals understand the sad truth of the industry. It is becoming competitive for students to receive recognition by agents and businesses when so many festivals are taking place.
Meli said the process of video submissions to film festivals such as Sundance can be extensively tedious and depressing.
“There are something like 800 film festivals across the world, and about 400 here in the states. There is a lot of background information; it’s like a college application.”
“I think that it makes it a lot easier for students when we cut out the middle man present with other festivals,” said Adam Wachter, chief operations officer of SeeFlik. “I was honestly surprised that there wasn’t an online place for students to showcase their films before we began development.
The website’s partnership with Baylor allows students the opportunity to compete with students from other schools such as York University’s Department of Film in Toronto and University of Texas at Austin’s College of Communications.
“It’s neat because you can see all the schools that are ‘friends’ of SeeFlik, as well as search for the names of the students who are participating,” said Zachary Rosenfield, who also works for SeeFlik.
Once an account is started and students submit their projects, the videos are put into two competitions. One competition is based on judgment by a panel of expert filmmakers and media professionals, and the other is based on audience votes, much like an online “American Idol.”
Each competition has first, second, and third place awards with cash prizes, $7,500, $5,000, and $2,500, respectively.
On top of that, one overall winner, who performs to both the audience and judges’ liking, will receive the overall winner’s prize of $20,000. All winners will be able to present their projects to big talent agents through David Greenblatt, a veteran manager currently working with SeeFlik.
Meli asked film students like his son what they wanted from film festivals, and he said they have a focus on money to pay off debt and a desire to branch out as well as the opportunity to showcase to agents and companies.
“Although students will aim for the prizes, the greatness is their ability to showcase their movies to the public,” Meli said.
“Ultimately our goal is to get these students closer to employment and to further their talents,” Watcher said.
For more information on this competition and how to get involved, go to www.seeflik.com.