The second annual South Orange Maplewood (SOMA) Film Festival will be taking place March 9-12. This festival will be on several screens across the two towns and Seton Hall has a special role in it. For an exclusive two-hour session, films created by SHU students and alumni will be shown. This is through a partnership with the College of Communication and the Arts and SOMA.
Christopher Aurilio, a Seton Hall University alumnus who graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Communication, has a trailer featured in the festival. The trailer is for an independently produced TV pilot called Death Lives, which, according to Aurilio is “currently traveling the festival circuit and being shopped around to the industry so [they] can make additional episodes.” The show itself is a “comedic story about the Grim Reaper who decides to be human and live a regular life in New York City, trying new experiences,” Aurilio said.
“Since students and alum are presenting their work at the festival, there’s no reason [students should think] they can’t make a living doing this and achieve their dreams,” Aurilio added. He elaborated and said that he “learned so many valuable lessons” at Seton Hall and is “proud to be returning with work that would not have been possible without Fahy Hall as [his] first basecamp.”
Alecia Mobley, a junior visual and sound media major, created a film about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I love the creativity process that goes on behind the camera and I never get tired or bored when it comes to film,” Mobley said.
She is excited to showcase her film at the festival and hopes that when people view it “they gain a new perspective on the movement.”
“The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t an attack on a certain occupation or race but a cry for help and a stand for what is right,” she said.
In Mobley’s eyes, the movement “[lets] the world know that we’re all human and what is happening to one group of humans because of the color of their skin is not okay by any means, and a change needs to occur.”
Annie Madden, a junior double majoring in creative writing and visual and sound media, is displaying a film at SOMA that was originally an assignment for her Digital Cinema III class. Madden’s project was to select a piece of music and put visuals to it. She said she was inspired to pick a “somber” song.
“My film looks into the loneliness that some people often feel in times where they are in the most need of reassurance,” Madden explained.
Additionally, Madden spoke of her class, Digital Cinema IV, that is teaching the students “how to put together electronic press kits that [they] can use to promote the films [they’re] currently on when they’re finished.” SOMA itself has “[provided] great experience [in] the festival circuit” for Madden and she hopes that the display of students’ films there “will give Seton Hall good exposure and demonstrate the college’s merit.”
Claudia Emanuele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.