Student film screens at festival


“It’s a Wonderful Climate,” a comical short film on global warming created by seven students for a video art assignment, premiered at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood on July 19 at the Fresh-I Student Film Festival. Out of 400 festival submissions, “It’s a Wonderful Climate” was selected as one of the top 20 films and took second place in the comedy category.

Joseph Friedrich ’09 produced the film with video art teacher Kevin O’Malley. The film starred Friedrich as Max and Carly Radist ’09 as Carly. Jason Hirschhorn ’09 played the penguin. It was written by Joseph Meyer ’09 and directed by Evan Ryan ’09. The message of the film is that the effects of global warming may be closer than people realize and that people have the ability to make a significant difference through their efforts, such as using energy-efficient light bulbs and walking rather than driving.

The decision to submit “It’s a Wonderful Climate” to festivals was not made until production on the film was wrapped.

“Our assignment was to make a movie on global warming, and once we had finished it, we realized that it might actually be good enough to submit,” Friedrich said.

Friedrich submitted the film to the International Environmental Film and Video Festival, the SoCal Independent Festival, the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival and the Fresh-I Student Film Festival. The film was accepted by the Fresh-I Student Film Festival, rejected by the SoCal Independent Festival and the crew is still waiting to hear the results from the other two festivals.

The greatest obstacle Friedrich faced when submitting the film was securing the rights to the music used in the film. Through many e-mails, phone calls and faxes, Friedrich obtained “gratis non-profit” licenses from Time Warner and Atlantic Recordings in order to use the songs “Cold as Ice” and the theme song from “2001, a Space Odyssey” free of charge.

However, he was unable to obtain rights to the song “Air” without paying $400 to Sony-BMG and EMI Publishing. The issue was resolved when the Save the Earth Foundation agreed to sponsor the film and pay for rights to the song.

Ryan was the only member of the cast and crew able to attend the July 19 screening.

“It was awesome to know that our movie was being played on a big screen,” Friedrich said.

“It’s a Wonderful Climate” is just the start for Friedrich, Meyer, and Hirschhorn assistant director and actor in the film. The three seniors will be taking a directed study devoted to filmmaking.