Several UCF Film professors and students are playing starring roles in this weekend’s Love Your Shorts Film Festival, which will feature 70 films from 17 countries.

Four films with UCF ties were accepted to be screened at the Feb. 14-16 festival, a group of five UCF faculty members and undergraduate students will lead workshops for filmmakers, and one professor will be a festival judge. The weekend event will be held in the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center.

“It’s important for students to enter film festivals so that they can experience their film along with a live audience,” said Lisa Mills, an associate professor of film and organizer of the workshops.  “Watching a film in a dark room is a much more communal experience than watching it on a DVD or computer screen. You see and hear things in your film that you never noticed before.”

Three of the films to be shown were directed by students:

  • Fantasy Land, a 9-minute self-reflective essay by Gabrielle Tillenburg, which is about searching for a lost memory hidden somewhere in the magical world of Disney.
  • Kids, a 5-minute comedy by Sean Orsorio, which is about three adults attempting to recapture their childhoods.
  • Robert, a 4-minute 1950s period piece directed by Jessica Keller and based on the true story of a girl who learns the importance of time through loss. This film is part of the E for Everyone block.
  • The fourth film was directed by Robert Cassanello, an associate professor in the History Department, and Mills. The 24-minute documentary, The Committee, was researched and written by students in an honors documentary class, and was edited by Aaron Hose, a video producer in UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning.

    The movie is about a little-known investigative committee of the Florida Legislature from 1956 to 1964 that sought to root out homosexuals from state universities.

    The festival’s educational workshops were designed by Mills for visiting and aspiring filmmakers, and will be held Thursday morning at the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce. In addition to Mills, other panelists are: Andrew Kenneth Gay, a visiting assistant professor of film and independent filmmaker; and film graduate students Max Rosseau, Tim Ritter and Charles Sutter.

    The workshops are: “So You Have an Idea for a Film—Now What?” and “So You’ve Made an Independent Film—Now What?”

    The festival shows films in seven categories (comedy, drama, animation, documentary, sci-fi/horror, Florida Flavor and E for Everyone, which is for viewers of all ages). The winners of each block of films, as determined by the voting viewers, advance to the final Best of the Fest block of movies on Sunday night, at which Mills also is one of the five judges.

    Mills said she loves the art of the short film because they are tight and concise.

    “The good ones make you like the main character very quickly and deliver a simple and elegant message at the end,” she said.

    For the festival schedule and other information, go to the website or