‘The Bluffs’ premiere moves beyond its original format to include student films 

Student-produced TV show “The Bluffs” will end the semester by opening their season premiere to other communications students, as well as Colorado filmmakers who want to show their short films in a larger venue.  

According to UCCS medium program manager and adjunct professor Jeff Dempsey, who teaches “The Bluffs” class, the premiere of “The Bluffs” will take place at the ENT Center’s Shockley-Zalabak Theater on May 10. To accommodate the submissions to the festival, the event will be separated into three categories: Colorado based filmmakers, lower-level COMM class submissions and higher-level COMM class submissions.  

“What I’m trying to do is create a place for the COMM students that are [on the] digital filmmaker track to have that screen time,” Dempsey said.  

The event will end with the premier of “The Bluffs” new season. Each category will have a post-viewing Q&A session with a few directors willing to discuss their projects with the audience.  

Not to be confused with the VAPA student film festival, the “Bluffs” Film Festival is a chance for those specifically involved with UCCS’s digital filmmaking track to show off their hard work and get some feedback on their projects.  

“You are sort of screen-testing your ideas and it’s a big venue to do that in, and you can kind of see how your edit and all the work you’ve done in camera looks on a big screen,” Dempsey said. 

To get the larger UCCS community involved, the event is open to any and all who want to view student projects and be a part of the UCCS filmmaking community. Not only will attendees have the chance to view the films and ask their creators questions about the process, but they will also get a chance to vote on their favorite films within each category. Each category, according to Dempsey, will have a gold and silver winner. 

“The community can really gain not just entertainment value … but where they fit into the larger film community. Film is a lot of different things,” Dempsey said.  

In referencing the filmmaking process, Dempsey hopes that the festival will give passionate student creators and local producers a chance to learn and grow from the experience of live audience reactions. 

“The learning process never really stops … and having that exclamation point at the end, which is the showing, it serves so many purposes,” Dempsey said.  

The “Bluffs” Film Festival starts at 6 p.m. on May 10 and ends at 10 p.m. COMM students and Colorado-based filmmakers are invited to submit their films to the “Bluffs” website. They are recommended to view the qualifications and stay within the May 5th deadline.  

Students filming the “Bluffs” with professor Jeff Dempsey. Photo by Jay Hubert.