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Encore showing of UMPI short film, The Proposal

Friday, 05 November 2010

An encore showing of The Proposal, 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 – is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the UMPI Campus Center.

The 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.

"Many people were disappointed to miss the film's premiere at the Braden Theater earlier this fall," said UMPI President Don Zillman, "so we decided to host an on-campus event." The film screening which will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers is open to the community."

"We are allowing ample time for discussion after the film," Zillman added. "Cathie Pelletier is hopeful that her schedule will allow her to join our panel that includes local thespians and cast members Rod Thompson and Cissy Libby, and UMPI Assistant Professor of Fine Art Rene Felini, who was also a student in the class.

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 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.

Community members are invited to take part in this event, which begins with the film at 7:00 p.m. followed by a panel discussion with opportunity for questions and answers. Admission is $5 per person, or complimentary with the purchase of The Proposal DVD ($15) that evening.

For more information or to reserve a ticket, call the University's Community and Media Relations office at 768-9452.