On Saturday May 3, the annual Keene State College Film Festival showcased student-made films inside the Mabel Brown Room in the L.P. Young Student Center.

The festival presented films by students from all years in the film production major or minor.

From introductory to advanced, short films from various students made-up the first section of the afternoon, but three advanced-production films took up the second half of the festival.

The three advanced-production films were starkly different. The first film shown was a dramatic TV pilot titled “Limbo,” co-directed by Ben Johnson and Josh Demeule.

“Limbo” is a pilot to a possible television series that depicts a world between life and death and the people that get trapped there.

“Impasse,” a documentary by Sarah DeFreitas, Bill T. Sicbaldi and Garret Crusan is about Hydro-Quebec; a hydro-electric project that is entirely funded by Canada’s government. The film examines both the benefits and downsides to this project.

The third film, “The Infamous Rocco Zanzabar,” is an original comedy about an infamous online prankster, directed by James Claibourne Gillum.  Gillum commented on how having a comedic film screened at the festival is different than other genres, “It’s sort of a screening to see if it was funny or not.” Gillum stated that despite the entire film being shown at the festival, it is not in its final form yet.

“We are probably going to get it scored over the summer and then [submit it] off to film fests, as many as we can get,” Gillum said.

Having been the sound mixer and boom mic operator for another advanced production film last academic year, being the director for Rocco Zanzabar was a vastly different experience for Gillum.

The process of being the director was “a very humbling thing,” according to Gillum.

He went on to describe the process as, “A terrific experience. I will say that everyone on the crew worked as hard as they were capable of working, and we made a really cool product because of that.”

Max Moran, Keene State senior and star of the film, “The Infamous Rocco Zanzabar” commented on the length of time it took to complete the film. “We started filming in September and we [filmed] maybe two, three weekends of every month with the exception of mid winter. I’d say in total maybe eight months [of production time],” Moran said. When asked how Moran felt about seeing the film on the big screen, Moran said, “Proud. Everyone collaborated and really tried to make something … it was a collaborated vision with a little bit of everyone’s inspiration.”

Trevor Clark Thalin, the picture and sound editor for the film “Limbo” felt very accomplished as well. “I’m very happy with it. Everyone is saying that they want to see the second episode which doesn’t exist so that’s awesome. That’s mission accomplished,” Thalin said.


Eric Jedd can be contacted at ejedd@keene-equinox.com

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