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Just a little after seven o’clock on Saturday, Oct. 13, I walked into the Citadel Theater on Rebecca Street. All around me were warm handshakes, conversations and wishes of good fortune. The program of the evening’s event, “McMaster 24hr Film Fest,” or M24, is a collection of fifteen short films selected for the competition. There are awards for first, second and third place, and also Best Performance and Audience Choice.

M24’s main goal was to out to the extended Hamilton community. Mac’s film fest would not have been possible without the help of volunteers, especially support from the School of Graduate Studies, the McMaster Student Union, and the President’s Office. I was reminded of Dr. Patrick Deane’s commencement as McMaster University President. In an inspiring document, Forward with Integrity, he invited you, as an integral part of Mac, to be creative with your connection to the community. In any way possible, you have the opportunity to do what you love and reach out to others. The idea is to create networks and strengthen them for a fruitful future. Such is the prideful new vision of McMaster University. Such is the purpose of M24.

Hosted by the Lyons New Media Center, the short film competition showcased movies edited within the LNMC’s technologically innovative laboratory on the fourth floor of Mills Library. Indeed, the films did have the appearance of professional grade production, and I could only imagine how hard it was for the judges to decide on the winners.

The first place prize, Blinded, features the story of a blind man with nothing to live for, yet he turns his life around after a chance encounter with a homeless person. Yousif Kellow, Faculty of Health Sciences, plays the role of the blind man and also won Best Performance.

The second place prize was given to McMaster staff and students, and their film Hunter is the story of a woman pursuing a dark figure through the streets of Hamilton after receiving a mysterious note.

And the third place winner, which also won the Audience Choice award, is a comical piece called You Only Draw Once, created by Humanities students. It follows a McMaster student who happens upon a magic pencil that makes his illustrations come to life.

The remaining finalists were given the opportunity to exhibit their filmmaking skills. And interestingly enough, the competition drew people from all backgrounds, whether it be McMaster alumni or staff.

This year’s M24 is the first annual event. In the upcoming years, the organizers at LNMC hope to expand the film fest by making a tradition. I could only imagine how it might look like in the near future. So if you, as a returning student, staff member, or alumni, are thinking of putting something up on the cinematic screen with your friends, this is your opportunity.

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