School of Communication and the Arts

Students compete in Lake Placid 24-hour film festival

By Jennifer Abbey, '12

Most films take months to create but for four Marist students, they only needed 24 hours.

The students won the Audience Choice Award at the 5th annual "Sleepless in Lake Placid" 24-hour filmmaking com­petition in Lake Placid, N.Y., on June 16 and 17.

For the competition, students Nicholas Sortino, '11, Ryan Rivard, '12, Jon O'Sullivan, '12, and Michael Caiola, '11 produced a 10-minute film called "Maybe Tomorrow." They competed against students from SUNY Oswego, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Marist was invited to participate in the competition when another school dropped out. Chair of the Media Arts Department Paula Willoquet-Maricondi assembled the team of students and asked professor Jeff Bass to serve as their faculty sponsor.

"This team of students performed su­perbly and professionally and I was very, very proud of the way they performed," Bass said.

The "Sleepless in Lake Placid" com­petition is part of the Lake Placid Film Forum, which is held each June in the city famous for the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. Students are required to incorporate some part of Lake Placid history into their projects. The Marist team chose to make their main character a figure skater, setting many important scenes in the historical ice rink at the city's Olympic Center.

"We stayed up for 65 hours straight and honestly at one point it didn't feel like 65 hours, everything was moving so fast," said Rivard.

The five student teams cast their films from a pool of actors, some local and some from as far away as New York City. The five films were screened at the ceremony the evening of Friday, June 17 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

"Honestly, the best part was the chemistry between the four of us," Rivard said. "We never had any creative disagreements."

Marist hopes to send another team to the competition in 2012.

"It's like the X Games of film making," Rivard said. "It's like, all right, go!"