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Braden Theater to host official premiere of UMPI short film, The Proposal

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A short film that had its beginnings in a University of Maine at Presque Isle course on screenwriting and filmmaking – and was completed by a Hollywood cinematographer and a nationally acclaimed writer – will appear on the big screen for one night only when the Braden Theater hosts the official film premiere of The Proposal on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010, from 5-6:30 p.m. Seating is limited and tickets are $10 each. For more information or to purchase a ticket or reserve a seat, call 768-9452.

This half-hour film presentation was directed by Zoran Popovic – the cinematographer for the 2008 film War, Inc. – and co-directed by award-winning writer Cathie Pelletier. Pelletier taught the UMPI screenwriting course where the film was conceived and gave students in the class a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with Popovic and gain an understanding of what it takes to turn a screenplay into a movie.

The Proposal is a short film about a young man, played by Jason LeSaldo of Fort Kent, who wants to propose to the girl of his dreams, played by Sara Harvey who is originally from Allagash. He invites her to a fancy restaurant, where the waiter is Augusta-based actor Matt Delamater. But things don't go as planned.

The film also features some well-known Aroostook County thespians, including Cissy Libby and Rod Thompson. The making of The Proposal brought together a cast and crew hailing from Fort Kent to Augusta. Most of the filming was done in the basement of the University President's house, which was transformed into a fancy restaurant, "Café L'Amour," for the movie. Set design was overseen by Tom Viorikic, who has worked with Popovic on a past film project.

During the filming, UMPI students and volunteers filled in wherever help was needed: holding lights, assisting the director, fetching props, checking for continuity – everything that needed to be done on a professional movie set. The film schedule was grueling, but students said it gave them a true appreciation of all the work that has to happen to make a movie.

The film also features music by the Rock Dox, Travis Cyr, Carl Hileman and Shannon Ambrutis.

"We invite everyone in the community to join us in celebrating the work of many fine artists, including some of our own UMPI students, at the official premiere of The Proposal and to take part in viewing the final cut of the film," President Don Zillman said. "It is going to be a night to remember."

The film premiere begins with a reception and hors d'oeuvres starting at 5 p.m. The screening is set to begin at around 5:30 p.m. Following the film showing, there will be a short question and answer session with the filmmakers.

Campus and community members are invited to take part in this special event. There are only 144 seats in the theater and tickets sales are on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are $10 each. For more information, to purchase a ticket, or to reserve a seat, call 768-9452.