Student film showcased in SOMA film festival

Who knew that when the Jehovah’s Witnesses were doing their rounds in fall of 2014, they would actually be helping to launch Senior Matthew Borrello’s film career. An idea after the infamous group knocked at his door led to his first film “Dinner Time,” which will be featured at the upcoming SOMA Film Festival.

The SOMA Film Festival will take place at the SOPAC theatre from Feb. 12 through 14. This is a chance for filmmakers, ranging from old pros to new bucks like Borrello to show their work in front of an audience and have their stories heard.

“When I got accepted it felt like a huge accomplishment,” Borrello said.  “I’m finally going to display my work, and this feels like a good start to my career.”

Borrello’s film is a dark comedy following one man’s mishaps. Borrello has worked on the film since 2014 and thought the SOMA Film Festival was the perfect opportunity to show it.

Borrello is not Seton Hall’s only connection to this festival.

Thomas Rondinella, professor in the College of Communication and the Arts, will be leading a discussion with the director of one of the films, “Haze” directed by David Burkam.

SOPAC and SOMA have been working with Seton Hall to really push the festival, offering Seton Hall students a discount on tickets.

Director of SOMA Film Festival, Matt Smollon, said that he encourages Seton Hall students to come out and see their contemporaries’ work as they are making a dream come true.

“We feel there is an audience for plot driven stories, and support for emerging talent, and that will be on full display,” Smollon said. “This is our inaugural season, but are hoping it feels like we’ve been doing it for years.”

Borrello  said that he encourages student to attend the festival. “It is important for any film major to attend festivals, even if your work isn’t being displayed,” he said.  “It’s a great opportunity to see what is happening in the industry.”

Siobhan McGirl can be reached at

Author: Siobhan McGirl

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