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Student Film Recognized at International Film Festival

Release Date:
10/14/2013 12:00 AM

by Dave Cranshaw, UNH Today Editor

An aspiring independent filmmaker, Chelsea Rowan ’14 understands the time and dedication that is required to create a film.

“A feature-length movie can take months, sometimes years, to complete,” said Rowan, who has been part of multiple film productions and has written two short films and several screenplays that she hopes to produce in the future. “Even short films can take month to complete from pre-production through post-production.”             

Matt Lumas, film, 500px
Matt Lumas '14 played the role of Steve Nash in the film Idle Play.

But that didn’t stop her from competing for the third time in the 48 Hour Film Project competition in New Haven this summer. As part of the international contest, Rowan and her team were challenged to write, film and edit a short film in only 48 hours.

Each film must include four elements specified for each competing city. In New Haven, the elements involved a character, a line of dialogue that is provided (“I’d like to see you try.”) and a prop. The group’s genre, which is different for each team, was crime/gangster.

The group filmed the play at a house several of the members rent in East Haven and in the office of their adviser, Paul Falcone, director of instructional and institutional media.

By the end of the weekend, the team created a five-minute-and-15-second film titled Idle Play. For their efforts, they won the top prize for “best use of line” and “best sound directing.” At the end of September, the film was screened at the 8th Annual Independent Television and Film Festival in Dover, Vt.

Matt Lumas2, student film, 500px

“The weekend consisted of very little sleep and a high stress level, but we made it to the drop off in time,” said Rowan, the director of the film, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in screenwriting. 

Nicole Caputo ’14, who served as the producer for the film, said her interest in film started in high school. The creative environment fostered by the communication department has fueled her interest in producing and creating her own movies, and the 48 Hour Film Project gave her the opportunity to dive headfirst into the filmmaking process.

“Making a film come together that quickly is the best way to learn about who you are as an artist and what kinds of decisions you make under pressure,” said Caputo.

In addition to writing the film, Matt Lumas ’14 played the main character. The experience, he said, gave him a chance to step out of his comfort zone.

“I generally like to work behind the camera,” he said. “Having this new perspective will help me guide talent in the future and helped me develop a deeper respect for the art of filmmaking.”

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide, and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.


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