Marist Student Film Capstone Project Winning Awards
Dec 6, 2022 – The award-winning short film Pseudea, produced entirely by Marist students, has now been officially released on YouTube as of Sunday. Pseudea can be viewed here in its entirety.
This follows another honor for the producers, when earlier in the fall, a 12-minute version of the film was selected for screening at the Lake Placid Film Festival.
August 12, 2022 – This week, the group has received two additional nominations for the film, one from the Venice Shorts Film Festival in Los Angeles and its first international nomination by the Montreal Independent Film Festival.
July 12, 2022 – An original film created by Marist College students is garnering awards as it makes its way around the short film festival circuit. Pseudea was created as part of a senior capstone project by film students Chelsea Columbus, Ethelle O’Mara, Samantha Doria, Tyler McGuigan, and Ani Stein – who all graduated in May. Described as a science fiction-romance film, Pseudea tells the story of an unemployed woman, who is desperate for income and gets a job at an agency called MIMIC. When the woman goes on her first assignment, she finds herself forming an expected connection with the girlfriend of the man she’s been assigned to impersonate.
With the support of Marist’s School of Communication and the Arts the students submitted Pseudea to more than a dozen film festivals across the country. To date, it has won twelve awards and two honorable mentions. Most recently, the film won four awards at the Top Shorts Film Festival in the categories of Best Student Film, Best Original Story, Best Drama Screenplay, Best Visual FX, and Honorable Mention for Best Director. The film also won four awards at the Independent Shorts Awards in Los Angeles, including the Gold Award for Best Student Film; Bronze Awards for: Best Student Director (Female), Best Cinematography and Editing; and Honorable Mention for Best Visual FX.
“We want our students to be recognized for their hard work and creativity, so we are making sure to celebrate deserving projects like this,” said Dr. Jacqueline Reich, Dean of Marist’s School of Communications and the Arts. “At Marist, we encourage all students to discover where their passion and creativity will lead them. This film represents the best of that passion and creativity – I was bowled over when I saw it.”
Left: The team after the 2022 Silver Fox Awards (L-R) Samantha Doria '22, Tyler McGuigan '22, Ani Stein '22, Chelsea Columbus '22, and Ethelle O’Mara '22. Right: the Pseudea film poster.
In May, the film swept its way through the annual Silver Fox Awards at Marist, winning in the categories of Best Narrative Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Audience Choice. Each spring, the Silver Fox Awards honor the best student film and television work on campus. They are produced by Jeffrey Bass, Distinguished Professional Lecturer in Media Arts and Chair of Department of Film, TV and Games at Marist. He also has a cameo in the film.
“All filmmakers face challenges—technical, financial, logistical,” said Bass. “These young filmmakers met and overcame those challenges and raised their student film to the level of artistic expression. Even some big-budget Hollywood feature films fail to achieve that. I'm grateful to these students for reminding us all that filmmaking is an art form.”
From Left to Right: Ani Stein '22, Chelsea Columbus '22, Tyler McGuigan '22, Samantha Doria '22, and Ethelle O’Mara ’22 accepting the Best Narrative Film award at the 2022 Silver Fox Awards.
Columbus '22, a media studies and production major at Marist, was a writer, executive producer and casting director on the film. She is currently pursuing a career in casting.
“Working on Pseudea was one of my most rewarding experiences at Marist,” said Columbus. “It was amazing to watch the characters and script come to life while working with such a talent group.”
O’Mara '22 co-wrote the script and also worked as executive producer and assistant director. She was a media studies and production major at Marist, with a concentration in television and film. She was also a writer on the film and is currently pursuing a career in television and film development, production, and publicity.
“Creating this film was such a fun and rewarding experience and definitely one of the highlights of my time at Marist,” said O’Mara. “I loved being able to collaborate with incredibly talented and creative peers, gain valuable hands-on experience, and watch our work come to fruition.”
Stein '22 was the film’s director: during her time at Marist was a media studies major with a concentration in film & television production. Since graduating this past May, she has returned home to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a filmmaker.
“This film has been significant to my development as an artist and storyteller,” said Stein. “I am so grateful to have had the encouragement and support from our faculty, and mentors Professor (Philip) Scepanski, Dr. (Dan) Amernick, and Professor Bass these past four years.”
McGuigan '22, director of photography, was a media studies and production major with a concentration in Film and Television and a minor in Advertising at Marist. Since graduation in May, he’s worked as a social media editor at Warner Bros. Discovery.
“Everyone in the group brought something new to the table. I learned filmmaking techniques from my group members that I never thought would work before,” said McGuigan. “Pseudea was able to turn out as great as it did because of the different skills that everyone on production had. If we were missing anyone from our capping group, the film would not have turned out as well."
Doria '22 was the editor, VFX artist and script supervisor on the film. She was a media studies and production major at Marist with a concentration in film and television. Since graduation she’s been working as a production assistant while searching for a full-time position as a video editor, production assistant or associate producer.
“When I first read the script for Pseudea, I knew that making this film was going to be an exciting challenge,” said Doria. “Creating Pseudea with this lovely and talented group of people was such an amazing end to my senior year at Marist. I am so grateful for everything I learned.”
Media Studies and Production at Marist
Within the School of Communication and the Arts, Marist’s media studies and production major is designed to provide a well-rounded education in both the theory and practice of the industry. The film and television concentration in the media studies and production major creates exciting opportunities for students to mold their coursework around their interests.