At Suncoast Technical College, students in the Digital Video Production program are benefitting from a new partnership with Bradenton filmmakers Trishul Thejasvi, owner of Orensis Films, and Thomas Nudi, writer/director of the recently completed feature-length film Monty Comes Back, who have been working with the students over the period of the last three months, leading them on a crash course through the art of storytelling and independent film production. Today, with five short film scripts written by the students, who will also direct, the group is putting out a call to the community for local actors to help complete these all-local productions.
First contact came through Suncoast Technical students working on the set of Monty Comes Back, which Orensis produced. The shoot turned into “a fantastic learning experience for them and us,” said Thejasvi, who in turn reached out to Suncoast Technical and offered to team with students in creating a series of short films from conception to production, with professional gear from Orensis. “It was the only way I felt we could give them a real world indie film experience,” said Thejasvi, “something fairly hard for a film school to truly recreate.” Meeting once a week, after hours for students and their teachers, Nudi and Thejasvi helped students develop scripts and plan production, “passing on our knowledge and experience to them so they avoid making the same mistakes we did,” he said.
The five complete scripts include the family drama, Over Cooked, from Viviana Lopez, the romantic comedy Gossip by Meghan Teague, a sci-fi comedy from Cameron Cruce called The Best Day Ever, the dark modern fairy tale Porcelain Doll written by Chad Martin and an existential dramedy from Ally Williams intriguingly entitled Jane Don’t. The filmmakers say they’re looking for a whole host of actors for roles ranging from ages 15-75, with race not being a factor. The films will be shot over the course of the next month, over the holiday break and into the first half of January. Thejasvi hopes to they can then be accepted into this year’s YouthFest at the Sarasota Film Festival.
But more important than potential accolades, Thejasvi hopes the experience teaches his students that they can make a film through their own grit and gumption, without relying on big studios or deep pocket investors or even an overabundance of technology.
“When we were on the verge of adulthood, we wish we had guys our age come and tell us how it is,” said Thejasvi, stepping into the role of mentor as he looks to the future of film in Sarasota. “It’s important to work with this young generation if this place is going to stand out.”
For more information, visit Orensis Films.