Cinema Alumni Produce Award-winning Short

by APU Life

The Department of Cinematic Arts hosted an open house for alumni last October, screening five films produced by current and former students. The featured productions included, “June Born in May,” “Love146,” “Before We Meet,” “Where Are They Now?,” and “Luiseño,” named Best Student Film last August at the eighth annual Trinity International Film Festival in Detroit, where it competed with more than 1,000 submissions. The film has been selected for competition in the Filmstock Film Festival, Monarch Film Festival, and Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival.

A narrative short, “Luiseño” focuses on the people and events surrounding the Temecula Valley Massacre of 1847 during the Mexican-American War. Written by Corban Aspegren ’15 and directed by Tanner Morrison ’15, the film explores the journey of the Luiseño, the Native Americans caught between two powers as California transitioned from Mexican rule to American statehood. The story centers on the relationship between two American brothers and two Luiseño survivors who must set aside their differences to protect their lives and land from the Mexican Army.

The historical film, which involved 60 cast and crew members, garnered a $15,000 budget—one of the largest for an APU senior capstone project—and also fueled the careers of several alumni. Aspegren works as a Walt Disney World entertainment stage technician in Orlando, Florida. Morrison, sound designer Trevor Satterwhite ’15, and editor Tom Scott ’15 founded a production company in San Dimas called ARTIFACT Film Co. Producer Allie Lapp ’15 plans to move to London in September 2016 to start a postgraduate program for film and television production. Producer Yasha Sojwal ’15 serves as an audio visual events specialist at Pitzer College. First assistant director Connor Eaton ’15 works for video services at SCEA PlayStation headquarters in San Mateo, and producer Ryan Bowman ’15 recently landed a job with NBC Universal in Los Angeles. In each case, these alumni daily discover how art and culture impact one another and how, as creative Christian artists, they can influence the film industry.

Originally published in the Fall '15 issue of APU Life. Download the PDF or view all issues.