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Film Students Present Short Films in Premiere

Film Students Present Short Films in Premiere

Posted: March 31, 2014

When Simon O’Keefe, a junior in the television and film arts (TFA) program, met Joseph Wachowski his freshman year, the two immediately connected and soon began collaborating on films. Although Wachowski graduated in 2012, the two have continued to write several screenplays together. They also produced two short films.

Their most recent film, All in the Sauce, is a 16-minute, darkly comedic voyage into friendship, screenwriting, and murder that features Anthony Chase, assistant dean for the School of Arts and Humanities, in a deliciously sinister role. All in the Sauce is among four short student films that will premiere in the “Rockwell Off Elmwood Film Stock” on Thursday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

"Simon came to me after class asking if I had ever acted before, that they had a part in mind for me, and would I be interested," Chase said. "Of course, I want to help and agreed. At first I thought this film would be a little class project; I’m imagining two kids in the parking lot with an iPhone."

As soon as production started, Chase quickly realized that this was a serious film with a script, a schedule, and a full crew.

"The whole thing was set up like Hollywood shoot," Chase said. "It was a far cry from two kids in a parking lot."

O’Keefe also stars in the film, as does Buffalo State theater student Jesse Tiebor and local actor and comedian Lamont Bellsarios. Wachowski appears in the opening scene with Chase. Spoiler alert: His character doesn’t last long.

The other films that will be featured in the April 3 screening are Crawling Up by Jacob Kolenberg, Blue Chair by Michael Esposito, and Siren by Gabriel Simon. While the film producers are TFA students or alumni, this event is an independent venture of unassigned independent projects.

"We just wanted to use this opportunity to show our films," said O’Keefe, who hopes to move to New York City to pursue a film career. "That’s what it’s all about, building a portfolio and creating as much as you can before getting out there."

Chase said it is this level of ambition that propels dreams into reality.

"These students are tireless and determined. From the movie poster to the final cut of the film, they had a vision of the film they were going to make," Chase said. "I was delighted to be part of it."

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