Biola alumni’s “My Mind the Love Story” premieres to mixed reactions

Film, "My Mind the Love Story," was produced by Biola alumni and premiered on March 24.

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The crew of the film My Mind the Love Story anticipate the premier of their film in Sutherland Auditorium on March 24, 2012. From left to right: Writer/Director/Producer Boye Fajinmi, Cinematographer Colin Cabalka, VFX and post production Donald Martin, executive producer Steven Haddadian, and associate producer Matthew Hawksworth. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

The crew of the film My Mind the Love Story anticipate the premier of their film in Sutherland Auditorium on March 24, 2012. From left to right: Writer/Director/Producer Boye Fajinmi, Cinematographer Colin Cabalka, VFX and post production Donald Martin, executive producer Steven Haddadian, and associate producer Matthew Hawksworth. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

The crew of the film My Mind the Love Story anticipate the premier of their film in Sutherland Auditorium on March 24, 2012. From left to right: Writer/Director/Producer Boye Fajinmi, Cinematographer Colin Cabalka, VFX and post production Donald Martin, executive producer Steven Haddadian, and associate producer Matthew Hawksworth. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

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The crew of the film My Mind the Love Story anticipate the premier of their film in Sutherland Auditorium on March 24, 2012. From left to right: Writer/Director/Producer Boye Fajinmi, Cinematographer Colin Cabalka, VFX and post production Donald Martin, executive producer Steven Haddadian, and associate producer Matthew Hawksworth. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

Sutherland Auditorium was filled with dozens of people from all ages on Saturday, March 24 for the premiere of “My Mind the Love Story.” The film was written and directed by Biola alumnus Boye Fajinmi, who also produced it alongside senior Jacob Brown, a double major in film and political science. A story that delves into the conflict between the real world and mind of the main character, Johnny, it explores emotions, love and what can go wrong in relation to those.

Gathering from personal experience during the summer before he wrote it, Fajinmi was looking to create a film concerning the joys of falling in love and the pain of breaking up. He hoped to create something that could resonate with people.

“I think when people are younger, they have an infatuation, or love, or whatever, that really hurts them,” Fajinmi said. “I think a lot of people can sympathize with that.”

But while personal experience was his inspiration, Biola further influenced him. Being around friends and the community had helped him to fully heal, let go, move forward, and gain something creative.

Hoping to inspire new view of life

Brown, as the co-producer, hopes that viewers will question their own view of reality.

“A lot of people approach life with these thick glasses that filter what really is into what they want it to be,” Brown said.

Ultimately, he hopes people will take a cue from the lead character and take off those glasses. And so, first-time viewers had the chance to take something away at the premiere.

Before the film premiere, cast, crew and viewers gathered in Sutherland courtyard, enjoying conversation and food from Chipotle. Surf and skate shop Hamboards, who sponsored the film, offered one of their longboards up for a silent auction. Excitement and expectations for the film were high.

“I’m hoping for an interesting experience about the subconscious,” said senior Erik Tveitmoe, a cinema and media arts major.

Others, on the other hand, were looking for for heavy tones and a steady progression of character development. In the moments leading up to the film, Fajinmi took a moment to say that anyone, friends and family, who listened to ideas and went to fundraisers had a part in making the film.

Earning mixed reactions from audience

Afterward, Fajinmi showed the trailer, along with some behind-the-scenes videos, and there was a brief Q-and-A with Fajinmi, Brown, director of cinematography Colin Cabalka, lead actor Dagger Salazar and lead actress Perry Mattfeld.

While there were high expectations, reactions to the film were mixed. Some found that it was made with a lot of love, was very relatable, and conveyed very powerful emotions. Others though, such as Lacey Sullivan, another graduate who did the makeup for the film, saw some flaws.

“I thought the editing looked good, but overall it was difficult to tell what the story actually was,” Sullivan said.

Even though reactions differed, the viewers had certainly witnessed the latest step in a long journey.

Seeking festival exposure

The traditional means of students writing letters for beginning funding for the film was ineffective. Due to the longboarding in the film, Fajinmi and Brown tried contacting surf shops, which was ineffective as well. Instead, the two took the small, nonprofit dance party of Spooktacular and made it into a large scale fundraiser. That, along with related events, Heart Attack and Tanktacular, almost completely financed the film. Still, surprises surfaced.

“We had a few different things come up with permitting, being able to use certain locations,” Brown said. “An actor got sick one day, or had a previous engagement. But luckily, everybody worked together really well. We were able to get pick-up shots later on. Everybody kind of pulled through it.”

Brown is currently working with a creative coalition called the ADAMO Collection. After graduation, he hopes to take some time off from school before going to law school. Until then, he is hoping to produce more films and possibly work on other aspects of filmmaking, taking this film as a learning experience.

The future looks bright for the filmmakers. Fajinmi is looking to get “My Mind the Love Story” into some festivals. Afterward, it’s on to the next project, a possible feature length picture.

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Biola alumni’s “My Mind the Love Story” premieres to mixed reactions