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Student, alumni filmmakers excited for ELA Film Festival

The 10 student and alumni films screening at the 15th annual Emerson Los Angeles Film Festival, to be held on October 10, represent a wide array of topics: from relationships and robots to memoirs and mopeds.

Among the festival attendees will be Jacqui Carriere ’16, whose short film Two Stroked: A Love Story, a docu-narrative about mopeds, will compete for “Best of Festival” honors. It will be her time visiting Emerson Los Angeles (ELA).

“I’m feeling the excitement,” said Carriere. “It’s always fun to wait in anticipation to see the films and get different perspectives and ideas from other filmmakers.”

Carriere said she was inspired to create a short about mopeds after participating in Emerson’s Kasteel program in the Netherlands her sophomore year and seeing so many mopeds and motorcycles. Other students up for “Best of Festival” honors include Noah Aust ’14 for How to Make a Nightmare, Sofia Caetano MFA’16 for Beautiful Thing, Renos Gavris MFA’15 for Austerity, and Cooper Vacheron ’16 for Very Happy Life.

Cooper Vacheron

Cooper Vacheron '16

Vacheron’s film, a documentary that explores a young, but happy life taken away too soon, marks the second year in a row that he is competing for “Best of Festival” honors. Last year, his short film Disorder was featured in the competition.

“I’m looking forward to meeting Emerson alumni, talking with them, and getting feedback,” said Vacheron, who will be participating in the ELA program during the Spring 2016 semester along with Carriere. “It should be a great learning experience that will hopefully inspire work on a new project.”

Several alumni are expected to attend the film festival, which will feature a variety of tech demonstrations, interactive workshops, and panel discussions on Creating Online Comedy Shorts, Bringing BoJack Horseman to Life, and Out on Screen and Behind the Camera, hosted by actor Wilson Cruz.

Alumni competing for “Best of Festival” honors include Jonathan Ade ’07 for Lay in Wait, Quinn Beswick ’10 for New Partner, Benjamin Freiburger ‘99 for Separated, Felicia Pride MA’05 for The End Again, and Micah Levin ‘08 for Grow.

Levin’s short Grow is a sci-fi film set in a future Manhattan, where even the air people breathe has a price. Though the idea of the film originated with the Boston 48 Hour Film Project several years ago, the short that will screen at the ELA Film Festival took about a year-and-a-half to complete. Levin invested $20,000 of his own money into it.

Micah Levin

Micah Levin '08

“I’ve always loved visual effects and I like creating worlds where you can play around with different kinds of effects,” said Levin. “I’d like to continue developing Grow into something and to be able to tell more episodic stories in this world, through a web or TV series.”

Pride also has her eye on developing her short film, which explores what happens when a couple experiences a mutual breakup, into a bigger project. Her short acts as a prequel to a feature-length film that she and a producing partner are currently raising money for and developing. Pride says the film isn’t inspired by her own experience, but it is an amalgamation of many experiences people have gone through.

Felicia Pride MA'05

“I think we’ve all experienced some sort of breakup or relationship not going the way we want it to go,” said Pride, who is helping to plan the EBONI Alumni Association’s Voices Showcase at the ELA Film Festival with Marlene McCurtis ’79.

The showcase is a curated film program that will celebrate voices of diversity through film. The film showcase and an animation workshop for kids taught by the creative minds behind the Netflix series BoJack Horseman will both kick off festivities for the 15th annual film festival on October 10 beginning at 2:00 pm.  

To register for the ELA Film Festival, visit 

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