Adelphi film grad is festival bound
Having graduated from Adelphi University earlier this year with a major in film studies, Sewanhaka High School alumnae Rebecca Farina is now set to have her latest directorial project featured by New York’s NewFilmakers series. The screening will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the Maya Deren Theater at Anthology Film Archives at 8:15 p.m.
“The news came earlier than I expected so I was very surprised,” Farina said regarding the notification that her work was accepted into the festival. “I was proud that all the hard student work that went into it was going to get some recognition outside of school.”
The young filmmaker began editing video as early as the age of 12 through Windows Media Maker. Eventually she took a media production class at Sewanhaka High School with Daniel Labbato, who proved to be one of her earliest mentors and pushed her towards her interest in film production.
“I’ve always had a natural pull toward narrative entertainment,” added Farina. “Of course I enjoyed watching movies, and I started acting in skits as a child really wanting to create my own content. That’s also why I enjoyed fiction writing, which eventually evolved into screenwriting.”
The film, entitled Vicarious, tells the story of a young woman’s response to the grief and rage experienced after losing a child to murder.
Farina was inspired to create the film specifically for the lead actress, Julie Praetzel, after being highly impressed by an audition tape by the actress. Another inspiration for Farina came in the form of observing unfortunate and tragic news reports and the reactions that they draw.
“The majority of the short films I wrote and directed while I was a student there came from comedic influence,” said Farina of this film. “But a couple—like Vicarious, came more from my interest in gritty, darker films like Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and even some of Christopher Nolan’s work in terms of style.” In spite of the heaviness of the subject matter, Farina says the process of creating the film was a great one mainly due to the hard work and dedication put forth by all who were involved with the production process.
She is especially grateful for the support of her mentors and classmates and would like to offer a special thank you to Terrence Ross who encouraged her as a professor and told her about the film series and Joan Stein who taught her how to structure a narrative. It was Adelphi’s small department that led Farina there as she felt it would be a great environment to learn in.
The event will also be a great opportunity for Farina and other up and coming filmmakers to share their work.
“I look forward to new people getting to see the film, but mostly the opportunity to connect with people and have an atmosphere of creative people around who want to create, or even just appreciate the creations the night has to offer,” said Farina. “I think it’s so cool for every artist or art fan to discover new work and talents that may not have otherwise received this exposure.”