Big screen debut for UNM students' films - Albuquerque Journal

Big screen debut for UNM students’ films

University of New Mexico Film & Digital Arts students worked on their capstone projects during the pandemic. A group of projects will screen at the South Broadway Cultural Center on Saturday, April 9. (Courtesy of Adam Turner)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico Film & Digital Arts students work on a capstone project during the final year of school.

In any given year, the projects are completed for the seniors and then showcased to the community.

That didn’t happen in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, UNM alumni will get together with the community for “The 2020-2021 Lost Capstone Films Premiere Event” at the South Broadway Cultural Center.

“A number of my students from 2020 and 2021 are pulling together a screening of all their senior projects that never had a chance to screen because of the pandemic,” said Adam Turner, an adjunct lecturer at UNM. “We have the support from the city, as well.

Emily Cates and Alex Peterson are presenting their short film, “Rob in the Doghouse.”

Cates is the writer and director, while Peterson is the producer.

The film is set in a post-apocalyptic world.

“It’s not a pandemic film at all,” Cates said.

Peterson was drawn to the project because it had an intelligence to it.

The crew worked on the project for five days during spring break in 2021.

“It was rough because everything was done virtually,” Peterson said. “Reading the scripts was fine, but we needed that human connection. Once we were in production, we followed all protocols and it was great to be back on set.”

UNM students work on a capstone project during the pandemic. (Courtesy of Adam Turner)

 

 

Cates spent at least one semester working on the script using the tools provided by UNM.

“It’s a luxury to have access to all of the equipment at UNM,” Cates said. “Once you’re not a student, you have to worry about funding these projects.”

J Wallace will also present his project, “Master Bassist,” which is about a bass player who gets kicked out of his band and is replaced by a sex cult worker.”

Wallace and his crew were finishing the project days before the pandemic hit the state.

“We filmed our last scene in the UNM Hospital the day before the first COVID case in New Mexico,” Wallace said. “We filmed for eight days during weekends for about a month.”

The three filmmakers, who are working in the New Mexico film industry, are excited to have the opportunity for the public to see their projects.

“I was more upset about not being able to screen this project,” Peterson said. “This is what we worked for during our time at UNM. The show that I’m working on currently ends Saturday and I’ll be able to attend.”

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