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A star-​​making performance

Mateo Caldas

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Mateo Caldas, a fourth-​​year media and screen studies major, has been named Best Actor of the 12th annual Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest stu­dent film fes­tival and the pre­mier outlet for the next gen­er­a­tion of auteurs.

A secret panel of film industry insiders selected the win­ners of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion on June 22 at the CMF Hol­ly­wood Awards at FOX Stu­dios in Los Angeles.

The con­test chal­lenges aspiring film­makers to make a five-​​minute movie in one week using free micro­phones, Pana­sonic cam­corders, and Apple lap­tops with high-​​quality editing soft­ware. Since its incep­tion in 2001, more than 500,000 stu­dents at col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties around the world have par­tic­i­pated in the festival. More than 100 North­eastern teams of young film­makers sub­mitted their shorts in March, where­upon a panel of North­eastern stu­dents, fac­ulty, and staff selected Caldas as the university’s best actor, pro­pelling him into the Hol­ly­wood finale.

Caldas played the pro­tag­o­nist in Reseta thriller written by fourth-​​year busi­ness major Scott Keenan in which a mys­te­rious man in a black fedora gives a grieving young lover the power to go back in time to save his girlfriend’s life.

He didn’t have much time to get into char­acter, finding out about the gig just one day before filming com­menced. “I’m a per­fec­tionist,” Caldas said of his star-​​making role, “and I com­mitted myself to giving a solid performance.”

His long-​​term pro­fes­sional goal is to become an accom­plished Hol­ly­wood actor, a dream that took shape not long after he was old enough to shout, “Action!” By his sev­enth birthday, he was chore­o­graphing his own short films.

Over the last five years, Caldas has starred as the pro­tag­o­nist in almost two-​​dozen shorts. Playing the good guy, he said, is “where I find the most joy in acting.”

Caldas counts London and Lethal Weapon as his favorite films and draws inspi­ra­tion from Chris­tian Bale of Batman fame, saying the Eng­lish actor “takes his work very seri­ously and I can relate to that.

“I have a pas­sion for making my char­ac­ters believ­able,” he added.

This article was originally posted by news@Northeastern.