November 4, 2009


Journaling from the Rome International Film Festival

By By Ezra Edmond

Current animation student, Ezra Edmond, at the Rome International Film Festival.
Two weeks ago I got the chance to represent USC's School of Cinematic Arts, the John C. Hench Division of Animation, at the Rome International Film Festival. It was really quite the experience. Everywhere I looked there were food stands, red carpets, theaters and plenty of people speaking Italian, a language of which I understand very little.

Several SCA animated short films made by the graduate class had been selected from SCA's [Adobe] First Frame program to screen at the film festival, and after being asked, I agreed to go up after the upcoming screening and participate in a Q & A about USC and the animation program.

Before heading into the screening, I stumbled into the IKEA sponsored theater, looking for tasty IKEA food, when I found none, I sat around to watch whatever film came on the screen next. The film was English made, The Be All End All, which was about two English boys, one of whom has heart disease, and the other who is searching for his estranged father. I sat through the whole film, surprisingly enjoyed it very much.

Then, I rapidly ate three amazing chicken sandwiches and met up with my translator and the host of the screening. We walked the red carpet into the theater, and after a short introduction sat to watch the animated shorts. I was glad to see that they were all ones I had seen before, and thus - could talk about.

After the screening, I took the stage with the translator and was asked about ten questions about the [Hench-DADA] program. I was surprised how educated the audience was about the field of animation, and I hope that the answers I gave were of the same level of intelligence of the ones who asked them. Overall it went very well, and after the Q & A ended, and eating a few more chicken sandwiches, I went back to my hotel to relax before attending the industry/networking party that the festival was putting on.

The party was incredible. It was on top of the Medici Manor, which sits on a mountain overlooking Rome, and I had to force myself away from all the unlimited food and drink to make sure I took some time to network with anyone. Coincidentally enough, I settled on talking with the boys from The Be All End All, and after we chatted about filmmaking and life as students, we watched the acrobat show that the party had hired, and I ventured back to the hotel, fully satisfied, and with a drive to create something now on my own - of enough quality that merits my return to that festival and others in the coming year.

Ezra Edmond

About Ezra Edmond: He is a junior at USC working on his B.A. at the School of Cinematic Arts' Hench-DADA program.

About: Rome International Film Festival: Each year RIFF highlight a School. This year the festival selected USC's School of Cinematic Arts. An hour program of animations from our First Frame event was presented.