Two Keene State College film students have been exploring the streets of Park City, Utah, immersed in the glitz and glamour that is the critically acclaimed Sundance Film Festival.
Kevin Aruilio and Megan Lummus applied for this experience through “The Creative Mind Group,” an organization that sends students around the world to big-name festivals.
Once accepted, the choice between choosing an internship or making a short film with other aspiring filmmakers is presented.
Lummus spent her time interning for the Creative Arts Agency, picking up and delivering tickets for screenings to clients.
Aruilio was part of a filmmaking program, in which he worked on the sound and editing of a short 10-minute film.
“We were put into two groups, given a role, and told to make a film in the span of one week,” Aruilio said. “I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know about filmmaking, but I did learn the power of working with people you truly respect.”
Both students claimed their past week consisted of some of the most stressful, yet most enjoyable days they’ve experienced anywhere thus far.
“It was incredible. Not only did I see and meet some celebrities, I also made friends that I know I will have for a lifetime through this program,” Lummus said.
In their down-time, the students were able to see films, choosing from the 110 features and 69 shorts the festival has to offer.
Summer of ’84 (2018) seemed to be a favorite of Lummus.
This mystery thriller directed by Francois Simard and Anouk Whissel tells the tale of a group of teenagers who spend their summer spying on the serial killer next door.
“It was a thrill ride that had an ending that made all questionable moments of the film ten times better,” said Lummus.
In his time, Aruilio had the chance to attend two film screenings, his personal favorite being Eighth Grade (2018).
This awkward comedy, written and directed by comedian Bo Burnham, follows an eighth grader as she embarks on her last classes before high school.
“I connected with it on a personal level and considered it a perfect film for the millennial generation,” Aruilio explained.
Senior film student Keelan Brown was the first KSC student to explore what “The Creative Mind Group” has to offer back in 2016.
“Being at Sundance was an amazing experience because it was my first time as a student I felt that having a job in the film industry wasn’t a far fetched dream. It’s an industry full of hard working people, all with a common goal of telling a story,” said Brown.
“All I want to say is every film undergrad should definitely consider being a participant of “The Creative Mind Group,” said Aruilio. “No matter what program you choose, no matter what festival you go to, it’s still an incredible experience.”
Rachel Blumberg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org