Two IU student films to be screened at Cannes Film Festival
Two films produced by IU students will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year in southern France.
“Freaks” and “All We’ve Built” began their journey earlier this semester at the Campus MovieFest, a national competition that encourages students to create a short film in a week at universities across the country. The films are first judged within their respective universities and then sent to Campus MovieFest headquarters in New York City to be judged on a national level.
Senior Tom Miller, junior Mike Brophy and junior Ryan Black controlled every aspect of the filming production for their short film “All We’ve Built.”
Miller said the inspiration for their film came from stories of people returning to their daily lives after the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima, Japan, during WWII.
”We wanted to do a story about a guy who goes back to his house after a nuclear reactor melts down,” Miller said. “A guy that, after it’s all said and done, just wants to walk back home and see his house.”
Junior Matthew Gunselman served as the writer, producer and gaffer for the short film “Freaks,” a quirky love story.
“We wanted to discuss an interesting love story, one that encompasses a lot of mystery and intrigue,” Gunselman said. “So, when the couple finally meets at the end of the film, the audience is still trying to figure out their relationship and if they know each other.”
Gunselman said this was his first time participating in Campus MovieFest and that he really enjoyed seeing the film come together.
“Working on the film was really fun, but I wasn’t expecting to go further than Campus MovieFest,” Gunselman said. “We hoped that it would move on to the national level, but when they told us it was going to Cannes, it was really, really exciting.”
“Freaks” and “All We’ve Built” skipped the national judging stage and were sent directly to Cannes.
“We weren’t even going to enter, we started so late in the game,” Miller said. “The film was due on Wednesday. But we knew we would kick ourselves later if we didn’t participate in this.
“We shot the film on Monday, edited it on Tuesday and had it finished in time to submit on Wednesday.”
The crew members said they were fairly confident with their final cut of “All We’ve Built” when they had finished filming.
“We were pretty confident in our abilities,” Miller said. “We figured we would probably get the top 16 at Campus MovieFest, but then there was so much talent. We had no idea where we would end up. When we were nominated for Best Drama at Campus MovieFest it was really exciting, and then when we found out we were going to Cannes, it was unreal.”
Miller said the crew was able to film the majority of the scenes on campus.
“We shot a lot of scenes with postapocalyptic imagery,” he said. “We used a lot of places around campus that look like they’ve been abandoned for years and went to a couple local high schools.”
Brophy said the crew faced a few challenges when filming the futuristic flick.
“It was hard to make sure there weren’t any signs of civilization,” Brophy said.
Brophy, Miller and Black have operated a professional production company since January.
The trio has created videos for congressional campaigns and has done work for the Indiana Democratic Party.
“We would really like to expand our filmmaking into areas other than politics,” Miller said. “Hopefully, we will be able to make money doing commercial stuff and then have time to do more creative films like ‘All We’ve Built,’ maybe even create a full-length film one day.”
Both creative staffs said that although they would love to go see their films presented at Cannes, they will not be in attendance because there are limited scholarships available for the groups to travel to the festival.
“This entire process has been exciting,” Gunselman said. “I really enjoyed considering the creative possibility of video. It’s been a really good experience that has really got me thinking about moving forward.”
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