Nathan Hulsey’s short film for the 12th annual Campus MovieFest is a whim­sical tale of young love between a vagabond and his unwit­ting muse. He drew inspi­ra­tion for the story from Paperman, he said, Disney’s Academy Award-​​winning short in which the mys­tical force of a lipstick-​​marked paper air­plane brings a young couple together.

I didn’t know what I wanted to make a movie about,” said Hulsey, a first-​​year stu­dent majoring in graphic design and inter­ac­tive media, “but I did know that I wanted to write some­thing light­hearted, loving, and passionate.”

Hulsey is part of one of more than 100 North­eastern teams par­tic­i­pating in CMF, the world’s largest stu­dent film fes­tival and the pre­mier outlet for the next gen­er­a­tion of auteurs. The con­test, which launched last week, 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.

Stu­dents must submit their films by Tuesday. Northeastern’s top 16 films, as judged by a panel of stu­dents, fac­ulty, and staff, will then be show­cased in West Vil­lage F on March 28 at 7:30 p.m. Free give­aways for audi­ence mem­bers include an Apple TV and gift cards from iTunes and Starbucks.

The top three films, for best overall pic­ture, drama, and comedy, will then be screened in Hol­ly­wood by a secret panel of industry insiders. Prizes for the Hol­ly­wood win­ners include $30,000 in cash, a one-​​year sub­scrip­tion to Adobe Cre­ative Cloud, and industry expo­sure at the Cannes Inter­na­tional Film Fes­tival in May.

Film judge James Anderson, a lec­turer in the Depart­ment of Music, plans on picking his favorite shorts based on orig­i­nality and tech­nical prowess. But, he added, “I won’t be judging a film’s tech­nical aspects unless it con­tributes to the film’s story.”

Hulsey hopes his love story will res­onate with viewers. “I really want the film to elicit a strong reac­tion and con­nect with the audi­ence,” he explained, noting that he planned to shoot the short inside a train sta­tion and on the streets of Boston. “If the tone is right and the effort is there, then I think we can pro­duce some­thing worthwhile.”

His con­fi­dence stems from his film­making expe­ri­ence in high school, where he won second prize in a short film com­pe­ti­tion, but many other North­eastern con­tes­tants are less familiar with moviemaking.

Gabriella Joseph picked up her free equip­ment last Wednesday, but had not yet decided between making a comedy about the cre­ative process or a drama about her Lebanese cul­ture. Either way, she planned on filming in her apart­ment and asking her friends to act.

I just want to jump in and get a start in film,” said Joseph, a third-​​year behav­ioral neu­ro­science major who counts Quentin Taran­tino and the Coen Brothers as her favorite direc­tors. “I’m not familiar with the equip­ment, but I’m looking for­ward to directing and bossing people around,” she joked.