Makona Film Festival

Makona Film Festival showcases Creativity

Issue 13: March 22, 2023

The men of Makona, a Men’s Social Club here at McMurry worked hard to put on a successful event for McMurry students, alumni, and families. The event took place on Wednesday March 01, 2023, at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Abilene. The Makona Film Festival was the second annual festival to be held and it was a huge event for all that were involved. The audience consisted of McMurry students that were excited to get dressed up in their best red carpet-attire for a glamorous experience.

Attendance was up 40% from last year’s event as there were students in the building to support the creativity and passion of their friends and family. There were also several alumni as well.  Many short films were created and submitted to be shown at the festival. Since there was an increase in attendance compared to last year’s event there was lots of excitement from the Men’s Social Club, they worked so hard to put on an amazing event and it really paid off on the big night. Most of the film creators I had spoken with were just excited to see their work shown on the big screen for a crowd. Many people that didn’t submit a film said that there were so many great films that had been produced it was hard to pick a favorite. This event was put together well and there was lots of praise for the Makona Men’s Social Club.

There were two hosts of the night, which included Makona Junior Hayden James and Makona Sophomore Anthony Avina. These hosts were introduced to the audience by Makona’s President, Noah Wagner who started the night out with a warm welcome as well as thanking everyone that made the night possible.  The Makona Men chose really good hosts for the night because they kept the crowd engaged and laughing throughout the entire night while presenting each of the twelve films, some of them even starring themselves. They started the night out with very enthusiastic energy that continued throughout the entire event. They were also presenting raffle prizes during the breaks in between the films, this added a little bit more fun and excitement during the breaks.

The genre of the short films ranged from suspense and mystery to comedy and whimsical experiences. The films were judged by several different professors in the English Department which included Dr. Richard McLamore, Annette Wren, and Cole Thompson. They all decided on the top three winners of the 2023 Second Annual Makona Film Festival. The night concluded with the presentation of the three overall prizes. The third prize was given for the short film Cabal, a mystery cult short film made by three brothers in Abilene. Second Prize was given to Sterling Haliburton for his Christmas-video game film. Finally, what everyone was waiting for, the first-place prize winner was Once Upon a Time in Texas, a drama thriller by Kelton Wherman.

Noah Wagner, President of Makona said “thanks to everyone who participated and brought a creative and positive competition to McMurry and Abilene. Create Everything.”