Professor, students to be in Chippewa Valley Film Festival
April 19, 2017
The Chippewa Valley
Film Festival will feature three films by University of Wisconsin-Stout
students and one by a professor.
The annual event
begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Micon Cinemas Downtown, 315 S.
Barstow St., Eau Claire. Learn more at the festival website.
The emcee will be
UW-Stout Associate Professor Kevin Pontuti, whose film “Onere” also has been
Approximately 20 short
films of 20 minutes or less, out of about 800 submitted, were chosen for the
festival. The UW-Stout submissions, by students mostly majoring in
entertainment design, are:
“The Good, The Bad and The Goofy,” a two-minute animation, by
Mariah Kestila, of Escanaba, Mich.
“Three friends flock
together to pull off the greatest bird seed heist this side of the Mississippi.
But what will happen when temptation becomes too strong and the bonds of their
friendship are tested?” Kestila said.
The film began as a
class assignment “that focused on creating colorful characters and putting them
in a world that makes sense. I took inspiration from the old West and fused it
with some fine feathered friends to make this animation come to life,” she
“Cor,” a three-minute experimental drama about a lost woman who also
is trying to find her way out of a bad relationship, by Greg Borman, of Eagan,
Minn.; Mara Jones, of St. Paul; and Tyler Klimek, of Mosinee.
It was created in
January when the students traveled to New Zealand as part of a study abroad
class with Pontuti.
“Kevin gave us an assignment to
create a short film. The prompt was to make a film about a character lost in
the woods who finds an object that helps them escape. We decided to take
the prompt as sort of metaphorical, because we wanted to use it to tell a
deeper story,” Borman said.
“Disconnected,” a six-minute narrative drama, by Sarah Mattes,
of Rice Lake; Joshua Sipma, of Minnetonka, Minn.; and Ashley Weiss, of Cottage
“The film explores the
reality of our generations. Sometimes, the thing that is meant to connect us
and bring us together can actually pull us apart,” Sipma said. “Disconnect
shows that even though we can be in close physical proximity to each other,
mentally and emotionally some of us have checked out.”
The film began as a
class assignment but went beyond. “We wanted to
invest in this and develop our skills but also tell a message. We picked a
message that we would all be passionate about sharing. The concept of
social media is very applicable to anyone that uses it — so pretty much
everyone,” Sipma said.“Onere,”
the film here.
by Pontuti, loosely set in the Middle Ages, is about a
young woman who bears a strange burden.
The eight-minute film, written and directed by Pontuti with a
crew that included several other UW-Stout faculty and staff, won an award in
October at the Flyway Film Festival. See the trailer here.
Pontuti works with students in UW-Stout’s entertainment design program, which has a concentration in digital
scene from “Cor,” by UW-Stout students Greg Borman, Mara Jones and Tyler Klimek
Second: A scene from "The Good, The Bad and The Goofy," by Mariah Kestila
Third: A scene from "Disconnected" by Sarah Mattes, Joshua Sipma and Ashley Weiss
Bottom: A scene from “Onere” by UW-Stout Associate Professor Kevin