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Filmmakers Strut Talent at Redstone Film Festival

COM’s best to be screened Wednesday

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This year’s Redstone Film Festival could be the spark that ignites the careers of 17 finalists, whose works range from a romantic comedy to a stirring drama about an emotional rift separating two brothers.

“The Redstones gives me one more chance that industry leaders will see my film,” says Maggie Kimball (COM’12), director of Entrapped, a comedy about a young woman’s efforts to lose a clinging boyfriend. “I’m happy to be nominated, especially seeing that some of the other nominees were teaching assistants in some of my classes. It’s exciting to have your work validated, especially at this level.”

The Redstone Festival, which screens films by students and recent grads of the College of Communication’s filmmaking and screenwriting programs, takes place on Wednesday, February 15, at the Tsai Performance Center. Festival organizers say the finalists were chosen from 40 submissions, all originally produced for a COM film, television, or video production class or as a graduate thesis project. The annual festival, BU’s version of the Oscars, is sponsored by media mogul Sumner Redstone (Hon.’94), chair of Viacom.

Finalists are chosen in a two-step process: a committee of production, screenwriting, and film-studies graduates selects finalists, and another panel, of film industry professionals, names the winners. The first prize is $2,000, second prize is $1,000, and third prize $500. The winners of the Fleder-Rosenberg short screenplay contest, sponsored by screenwriters Gary Fleder (COM’85) and Scott Rosenberg (COM’85), will also be announced at the festival. That award’s first prize winner gets $1,250, second prize winner $750, and third prize winner $500.

“Redstone helps jump-start the careers of many of our film and television students, with screenings attended and judged by industry professionals,” says Paul Schneider, a COM associate professor and department chair. “Finalists have gone on to enter and win at festivals in the United States and around the world. Just this year, previous Redstone finalists Josh Safdie (COM’07) and Benny Safdie (COM’08) won a Jury Prize for Short Film at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.” The Safdies took the Jury Prize in Short Film, U.S. Fiction, for their film The Black Balloon.

Other Redstone winners include Fleder, director of Runaway Jury, Richard Gladstein (CGS’81, COM’83), producer of The Bourne Identity and the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman, and Steve Brill (COM’84), screenwriter of The Mighty Ducks. This year’s winners will be chosen by Carolyn Pickman, cofounder and director of CP Casting and Acting Studio; Lyda Kuth, filmmaker and executive director of the LEF Foundation, a nonprofit that supports contemporary work in film; and
 filmmaker and cinematographer D’arcy Marsh.

Redstone finalists for 2012 are Padrick Ritch (COM’12), director of Limbus, the story of a man’s flashbacks before a proposal; Jim Dandee (COM’13), director of The Runner, about a girl’s struggle with a haunting memory; Julian Cornwell (COM’10) and Harry Joseph (COM’10), directors of Long Way Home, a tale of two brothers who are on the run; Anna Gerstenfeld (COM’12), Emma Kazarian (COM’11), Stephen Matter (COM’11), and Chandler Stephen (COM’12), the team behind TAG, about a duel between a young graffiti artist and an anonymous tagger; Ron Utin Lalkin (COM’11), director of Guppy Love, a romantic comedy about a fish biologist on a blind date; and Kimball, director of Entrapped.

The Fleder-Rosenberg short screenplay competition finalists are Jason Mark Hellerman (COM’12), Nancy; Sharon Zemina (COM’12), Leaves of Love; Rachel Tesler (COM’13), Little Lost Puppy; Samuel Laskey (COM’13), The Crib; Julia Iglesias (COM’14), Coming Out; Leah Thomas (COM’13), If We Shadows Have Offended; and Joseph Dwyer (COM’13), Clean Copy.

The Boston Redstone Film Festival is followed in March by Redstone festivals in New York and Los Angeles. The Redstone Alumni Short Film Competition, started last year, is open to film and television alumni. The winning film will be shown at the Los Angeles screening, along with those of the finalists in the student competition. This year’s alumni winner gets $500.

The 32nd annual Redstone Film Festival will be held on Wednesday, February 15, at 7 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. The event is free and open to the public. In previous years the auditorium has been filled to capacity.

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Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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