Student Filmmakers Find Summer Success

Momo (right) and Kelly-Fair (center) have worked on numerous films together over their college career. (COURTESY OF SABRINA POLKOWSKI)

By MARYANNA ANTOLDI
Arts & Culture Editor

Over the summer, two incredible Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) student filmmakers, Luke Momo, FCLC ‘19, and Nevin Kelly-Fair, FCLC ‘19, reached new heights with their filmmaking careers. With passions for both writing and directing short films, Momo and Kelly-Fair’s work has screened at multiple film festivals around the country—and even at the famous Cannes International Film Festival in France.

Momo and Kelly-Fair met their freshman year in a playwriting class, where they recognized each other’s passion for film and decided to create together. Since then, the two have created multiple films together and are beginning to reap the benefits of their hard work. One of their first collaborations “Dead Dog” (2015), directed by Kelly-Fair with cinematography by Momo, was selected over the summer to be in the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival. Another short film the two worked on, “We Regret To Inform You” (2016), was an official selection in the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Kelly-Fair even attended the prestigious festival for free as part of the reward.

“Cannes was amazing because I could see the people who have made these transformations that Luke and I are really at the beginning of making  right now,” Kelly-Fair explained,  “Talking to a lot of people who have either done what we’ve done or haven’t done what we’ve done and just seeing what works and what didn’t was a great thing to do at the premiere film festival of the world.”

Their most recent project, a two-part film titled “The Last Playboys” (2017) screened at the Princeton Film Festival in July. Nominated for its cinematography at the 2017 Campus MovieFest, the film follows three boys (played by Kelly-Fair and sophomores David Camou  and Daniel Moses) and their misadventures around New York City, including a trip into the pretension of the fashion industry.

The 10 minute short film, originally broken up into two separate parts, was filmed and edited in six days. However, the thought behind the film far exceeded its production time. Each scene was carefully planned, alluding to different films such as the 1950s drama “Shadows” and the work of directors like Emmanuel Vesky and Stanley Kubrick. Even the music held symbolism, with a contrast between jazz to highlight the rambunctiousness of the three friends with classical pieces that dominate the pretentious fashion world.

“There’s an idea that movies are made from other movies. This is a real precedence as you look into other films— they are all in communication with the history of cinema,” Momo stated.

But, the difference between Kelly-Fair and Momo’s films from those of other film students is that they focus more on story than anything else. “The Last Playboys” cost only $30 to provide food for the extras, while “Dead Dog” only cost $2 for one subway fare. The two co-founded  FCLC’s Filmmaking Club with this type of methodology—that one can make a great movie working with the resources that you have as long there is a compelling story to tell.

“I think the biggest thing is that Luke and my experience of getting into filmmaking is very different from others student filmmakers in New York,” explained Kelly-Fair,  “You have a lot of these kids who have money, can pay to get equipment, go to film schools and make these films that are $10-$12,000 dollars, but just have horrible stories. When Luke and I co-founded the Filmmaking Club, our idea was that you can make this stuff for no money at all.”

More than anything, Kelly-Fair and Momo are driven by their sheer love of movies. Both had an interest in making films since they were young, Momo beginning in middle school and Kelly-Fair when he was six years old. To have their work recognized in festivals around the globe is more than enough motivation for the two to continue pursuing their dreams.

“When you’re an 18-20 year-old in college, it’s pretty hard to get your films out there. But Nevin and I hopefully will see success in terms of putting your work out there into the large world and have people experience an emotional reaction to it,” Momo mentioned.

For the two juniors, the sky is the limit. They will continue to create short films, but they are constantly willing to challenge themselves and expand their horizons. Their latest aspiration is to write and direct a 90-minute feature film which will be completed by the time that they graduate. All they need to do is find a story.

“We’re just trying to get our stories told and, at the end of the day, Luke and I are want to make movies that people want to see and tell stories that people want to hear,” said Kelly-Fair.

With their passion and gift of storytelling, it is clear that they will be able to accomplish anything.

 

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