The Poe Film Festival is not currently accepting pitches or scripts other than through the contest format.

Third in a series of articles from our visits to colleges and universities that are invited to participate in the 2018 College Film Awards.

Virginia State University in Petersburg is thousands of miles from Hollywood. But what a setting for filmmaking!

Set on a bluff above the Appomattox River, this beautiful campus is dotted with historic brick buildings from centuries past. A quick walk down Hayden Street, however, transports us to the 21st century with new classrooms, residence halls and athletic facilities.

We are interested in student filmmaking. So how does VSU stack up? We met with Emmy Award-winning director Jesse Vaughan at nearby Vincenzo’s Restaurant and asked him. Jesse produces in-house films for the university, including a short about Edgar Allan Poe’s early years in Petersburg. He worked with creative VSU students in his production.

Although talent abounds on campus, the school does not offer a film studies major. Currently, VSU has a screenwriting class and mass communications courses more centered to broadcast television. VSU is heading in the right direction by moving its media studies department to the new Academic Commons Building, where presumably the department can enhance its film production facilities.

In the meantime, we hope VSU’s ambitious young filmmakers will move forward and produce their creative stories, and then submit their films to be shown at the 2018 College Film Awards next November. Go Trojans!

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