by Skye Saunders
Since 2017, POV Festival has been thriving with standout performances from playwriting and screenwriting students on campus, and this year it continues remotely.
POVFest is an annual student-run theatre and film festival showcasing featured screenplays, plays and film submissions from playwriting and screenwriting majors or minors. This year, film majors and minors were invited to participate and have their films screened.
"We made this decision because we want to promote collaboration between the majors under the school of Film and Media Studies," said Laila Wilson, the festival’s director and producer.
Since things had shifted to a remote format, it became imperative to put on an engaging performance to showcase Purchase student's talents and highlight all the outstanding work while keeping everyone involved safe. POV team members worked independently and collectively online to make the showcase possible.
Wilson, class of 2022, was charged with developing a structure for presenting the scripts, finding collaborators, and creating an official website and Instagram account. Kim Halliday '22 shot b-roll footage and cover photos as the videographer and photographer. Blake Albano '23, served as the editor and used his skills to piece together screenplay readings with footage of actors recorded at Brooklyn Actors Self-Tape. Trevor Trotto and Kasey Waithe are the technology coordinators responsible for building and streaming the festival, which will be presented for the first time on Vimeo. Also on the team is outreach coordinator Leah Bickley '22, who is directing one of the play selections, Holiday Trip, written by Randy Santana Hidalgo.
"POV is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience and participate in a film festival," said Wilson.
In January, the screenplays and plays were selected by the POV panel. The next step was for Wilson to imagine and then secure visual presentations that would bring the writings to life. She sought directors for the plays, cast and coordinated screen and voice actors. Wilson scouted animators that would be a great fit for realizing a few of the screenplays, such as An Angel Cried, written by Kaira Rivera, listed below.
Rivera was unsure about her screenplay becoming an animation and was concerned that the heavy subject matter wouldn't translate well, but that all changed after she saw sneak peeks of the drawings and the trailer.
"It proved me wrong. Seeing how it's coming together, I now believe the animation will tell the story gracefully and better by allowing everyone to understand what's happening not just audibly, but visually as well," Rivera said.
Molina was in control of the technical decisions in the animation. She made artistic choices to let the themes of the story shine through.
"Everything has to do with color and the change in environment. There's been a mix of soft animation but also dark rigid parts that have to do with the darker themes in the film. You can do more visually and manipulate the visuals people will be seeing to sway emotions and for viewers to get a sense of what the character is feeling," said Molina.
The original short play, Little Hidden Worlds, written by playwriting and screenwriting major freshman Hallie Stephenson, will debut at the festival. Both playwright Stephenson and director Nastasi are excited about their play's debut on Theatre Day, Saturday, April 17th.
“I was very impressed with the approach that was taken to virtually approach Little Hidden Worlds,” said Stephenson. “Featuring such disconnected and isolated characters, the short play was surprisingly equipped for the screen, and I thought that the inherently disunited quality of the familial relationships in the production was agreeable with our current restrictions.”
"I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such an intriguing and thrilling script as this one,” said Nastasi. “The exact reality of the world in the show is left open-ended, and that allowed for the production team and I to really experiment and play around with so many possibilities of how to present the show.”
The Schedule for POV Festival is:
Day 2 (Screenplays and Films): https://www.purchase.edu/live/events/26211-pov-festival-screenplays-films-day-2