From class project to award-winning film

A three-minute film co-directed and produced by two current UC San Diego Extension students took first-place at the 7th annual ArtPower! Up and Coming Student Film Festival/Filmatic Festival, held April 27 at Qualcomm Institute Auditorium.


Filmmakers Corey Oliver (left) and Dan Chambers

Students Cory Oliver and Dan Chambers teamed for the winning entry, titled "Lacuna." Shot last December in Pacific Beach, the no-dialogue film is described this way: “Daniel is a humble mechanic living with his girlfriend Nicole along with a dark, bloody secret.”


Both Oliver, the film’s principal, and Chambers are enrolled in the Digital Arts Center (DAC) Professional Certificate program of UC San Diego Extension. Produced as an end-of-class project in video and editing, the project earned Oliver a $500 prize from the UC San Diego Alumni Association.

In addition, he received a Blackberry tablet donated by DAC and a 50mm lens from UC San Diego Triton TV.

“It’s a really great way for students to get their feet wet with the festival process,” said Rebecca L. Webb, the festival’s director and ArtPower! Film Curator who founded the event in 2008. “This is the only film-submission event open exclusively to UC San Diego students.”

Among this year’s notable jury members were Rajendra Roy, a UC San Diego graduate who’s now chief film curator of Museum of Modern Art in New York City; and Australian commercial and film director Alan White, whose theatrical release, “Reclaim,” featuring John Cusack, is scheduled for release in early September.

“I’m just blown away by the positive reaction our film has received,” said Oliver, “because the other entries were so incredible. What makes us the most proud is the mood and feeling that we tried to capture.”

After earning their DAC certificates, Oliver and Chambers intend to pursue filmmaking at UC San Diego.

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