By: Karli Banas
Producer Susan Leber and Writer/Director, Michael O’Shea, will present their 2016 film, The Transfiguration, at a screening on Nov. 17 at 7p.m. The film was nominated for two awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury Award at the 2017 Dublin International Film Festival. After the screening, students will have the opportunity to ask questions of the guest speakers in an exclusive Q&A session.
Christopher Reed, head of the Film and Moving Image Department, describes The Transfiguration as the story of “a young African-American teenager in New York City who’s convinced that he’s becoming a vampire, and does drastic things as a result of thinking he’s a vampire. The film also deals with other things like race, class, and other social issues within that framework.”
The FMI Department brings in a variety of different films and professionals to present their work to students and to showcase diversity in the field.
“Hopefully (students) enjoy the film,” Reed said. “It’s a moving portrait of a troubled young man trying to do right in the world. Hopefully they appreciate all the different elements and feel inspired to create something similar in their future careers.”
Reed said he judges the success of the screening on a number of criteria. He said he likes to see “decent attendance for both online and in person, and a variety of questions during the Q&A session.”
A similar film event was held last spring with Johnathan Aibel, a screenwriter who worked on the Kung Fu Panda films. Reed felt students at that event asked great questions and were well engaged. He hopes to see the same levels of enthusiasm and participation at this screening.
The screening is part of the School of Design’s Artist-in-Residence program. The program began in 2003 in the Art Department, and in 2010, the Film and Moving Image Department started bringing in industry professionals to give presentations to students.
The Artist-in-Residence program enables students to hear a variety of voices and experiences in their field of study, beyond those of faculty members.
Amanda Hostalka, Dean of the School of Design, said the Artist-in-Residence program “provides students with the opportunity to interact with well-known industry professionals because the artists want to give back and support students,” she said. “Students are also expanding their professional network through the program. Relationships forged through our Artist-in-Residence programs have led to internships and career opportunities and have continued well beyond the students’ time at Stevenson.”
The event will take place at the School of Design in the SD 101 Soundstage. Due to COVID-19 regulations, there is a 36-person limit to attend the event in person, but it will also be broadcast live on BlueJeans. This event is open to all Stevenson students who can sign up to attend in person with this link. For those who would prefer to watch online, they can sign up here: link.