File // THE CHIMES
This spring, students of the cinema and media arts program feature films about animatronic cowboys, A.I. interrogations and ride-share drivers. Here is a rundown of the six films in production this semester.
“Under Refurbishment,” a senior thesis film written and directed by Griffin Douglass, follows an animatronic cowboy named Sarsaparilla Sam. The protagonist puppet performs at a family entertainment center and struggles to maintain his creative freedom. The tone and style is described as a mixture between the technological and philosophical questions of “Black Mirror” mixed with the characterization and whimsy of a Pixar film.
Leading up to the release, the film’s Instagram page has posted weekly artist spotlights to promote smaller artists from Biola and the surrounding area. Senior cinema and media arts student Holly Chang and recent Biola graduate Emilio Mazariegos are co-producing, with the film planning to shoot this March.
Written and directed by Samuel Moyle, “Indictus” is a sci-fi thriller about a woman who is interrogated by an A.I. robot that impersonates her parents. The film hopes to explore the definition of identity through the sci-fi lens similar to movies like “Blade Runner” and “The Matrix” A significant amount of work was put into crafting the Novimund City, whether through the film’s miniatures designed by junior cinema and media arts major Josiah Wombacher—or the unique social system centered around groups of people like the “Indictus” and “Monitors.” Junior cinema and media arts student Cody Grudt is producing and the project plans to shoot this March.
Junior cinema and media arts student Juliet Lucas is directing this semester’s Biola film, “Guber.” The film follows a ride-share driver named Carter who takes on the job as a way of saving people from drunk driving accidents similar to one his sister got into. The film hopes to spotlight everyday heroes and explores the grieving process and the eventual healing that comes afterwards. Junior cinema and media arts student Shalisha Moreno is producing and the film is set to shoot this March.
OUR CHRISTMAS HOUSE
“Our Christmas House” is a feature film written by Jaron Lanier and directed by Annabel Grace White. This rom-com emulates a Hallmark Christmas movie, following a determined news anchor named Jodie who must choose between the perfect man and the perfect story. Senior cinema and media arts student Sarah Umhau is producing the film, which is set to shoot between February and March.
Senior thesis film “Pink Matter” is written and directed by Aaron Velasco that follows a young college student named Nehemiah, whose best friends take him to a brothel for his birthday with the sole purpose of losing his virginity. When the opportunity arrives with a prostitute named Chastity, Nehemiah’s feelings of nervousness overcome him and a heartfelt conversation about life, sex and manhood ensues. Junior cinema and media arts student Katherine Baguio is producing this short film, beginning production in April.
WHAT’S GOING ON HERE
“What’s Going On Here” is a collection of sketches inspired by variety shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “Middleditch and Schwartz” and “I Think You Should Leave.” Created by junior cinema and media arts major Mandy Moore, the project is a female-led sketch show promoting women in comedy. Recent Biola alumna Dayna Womack and junior cinema and media arts student Katherine Baguio are producing, with the project shooting this weekend.