Northern Illinois University

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News Release

Contact: Laura Vazquez, Festival Director/Communication Professor
(815) 753-7132

March 25, 2009

NIU’s Reality Bytes film festival kicks off April 1

DeKalb, Ill. — The Ninth Annual Reality Bytes Student Film Festival will kick off next week, showcasing and rewarding the filmmaking talents of undergraduate and graduate students from across the country.

Sponsored by Northern Illinois University’s Department of Communication, Reality Bytes provides a forum for college students to competitively screen their films. The first evening of screenings will begin at 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, at The House Café, 263 E. Lincoln Highway.

Audiences can expect to take in everything from a documentary on a North Texas Elvis impersonator to a musical comedy featuring an “Amphibian-American” looking for equal rights in the workplace. Submissions have been received from film students at NIU and other universities nationwide.

Later in the week, independent filmmaker Mark Borchardt, subject of the award-winning documentary, “American Movie,” will visit the NIU campus. Borchardt will discuss his work and take questions beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, in Room 100 of the Visual Arts Building.

The festival continues Saturday, April 4, with screenings of more student films followed by an awards ceremony. Saturday's events will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room 100 of the Visual Arts Building. (See complete screening schedule.)

There is no cost for admission to festival events, which are open to the public. Free Starbucks coffee will be provided for those who attend Friday and Saturday’s events. Free parking is available in most NIU lots after 7 p.m.

Student winners, as judged by a panel of media professionals and NIU alumni, will receive cash prizes, as well as software from event sponsors Avid and Write Bros. For more festival information, visit or contact Professor Laura Vazquez at or (815) 753-7132.

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