Seniors Premiere Films at Prytania Theatre


Mary Cross

After spending a year in the director’s chair, a group of Tulane seniors brought their original short films to the big screen. Produced as part of the Digital Media Production program’s advanced filmmaking capstone course, the films premiered at a special screening hosted by the historic Prytania Theatre in uptown New Orleans.

Rachel Varela with friends at the Prytania Theatre
Digital Media Production film student Rachel Varela (center) poses with friends in the lobby of the Prytania Theatre prior to the screening of her film entitled Cattle Call.

Production of the films took place over the course of two semesters under the guidance of Mary Blue, director of the digital media program.

“During the first semester, we pitched our film concepts and workshopped with classmates, and during the second, we cast, filmed and edited. It’s been a very hands-on experience,” said Tulane senior Maddie McGee.

McGee participated in the yearlong class alongside students Grace Brown, Rachel Varela, Caroline Keller, Jordan Fried, and Qing Yu.

An English and digital media production major, the New Jersey native originally came to Tulane to study filmmaking and plans to pursue a career in the entertainment industry after graduating in May 2017.

“I was drawn to Hollywood South and how Tulane fit within that environment.”

— Maddie McGee

Called To Forget, McGee’s short film tells the story of a college freshman with a photographic memory who witnesses something he doesn’t want to remember.

McGee felt that viewing her work on the silver screen for the first time was a nerve-wracking yet ultimately rewarding experience.

“It’s a little terrifying, as I’ve only seen the film on my computer screen at this point,” she said.

While the event served as an opportunity for the budding filmmakers to receive constructive peer feedback, family and friends were also welcome to attend the special screening.

“My parents flew down for it, and I suspect they didn't just come for the free popcorn,” McGee added.

Student Film Titles and Descriptions:

Written & Directed by: Maddie McGee
A college freshman is gifted with an incredible photographic memory. But what happens when he sees something he doesn't want to remember?

Written & Directed by: Jordan Fried
A complacent college kid faces tragedy when his long distance girlfriend is found dead.

Tulane seniors show short films at Prytania Theater

Written & Directed by: Caroline Keller
When two best friends are tasked with a school project using social media, the pressures of living and posting the perfect life are too much for one of them to handle.

Written & Directed by: Grace Brown
Emily has just moved onto Sunnyside Avenue, part of a wealthy suburb outside of New Orleans, and receives an invitation to an exclusive book club held by the President of her new neighborhood. Emily quickly realizes, however, that this “book club” is not what it appears to be, and finds herself roped into a secret society of scheming, manipulative women.

Written & Directed by: Rachel Varela
Struggling to raise a child and avoid foreclosure, a single-mother actress must confront her sexual assailant.

Written & Directed by: Qing Yu
Abigail grows up in a family with extremely traditional Christian values. When she gets pregnant from a horrific event, Abigail struggles with her family’s embedded values, while she rediscovers her faith.