by Maggie Pawsey
Eyecrush Productions was proud to present the Pittsburgh premiere of their film, Under the Flower, as a wonderful conclusion to the 2017 Festival of Friendship.
The film began as the brainchild of Franciscan University of Steubenville student Hank Meldrum and alumnus Lilianna Meldrum Serbicki, a brother and sister team. Meldrum asked Serbicki to write a screenplay for him, and the two were joined by director and classmate Giovanni Stroik to create the largest independant film ever produced by students at the university.
The film became “a labor of love,” said costume designer Maria Perez. About 30 students in the cast and crew gave up sleep and comfort to get most of the filming done within a single week.
Their hard work paid off stunningly. The film features beautiful shots of the characters and creative uses of movement and color. The plot centers around the main character Jane, as she works through her conflicting thoughts personified in the anxious Simon and apathetic Celeste.
Serbicki said the film is about unity, the “integration of all the parts of ourselves.” Meldrum said the theme was very much “like a family… like the Church as well;” as different parts come together to create a whole, each works in unity to create something bigger and better than the individual.
The team of students, many of whom are studying theater or communication arts, said they were excited to get hands-on experience in the field and a chance to apply the theories and techniques they’ve learned in class. Stroik said the project gave many of them a renewed “passion” to take back into the classrooms.
Eyecrush Productions is putting the finishing touches on their creation, and plans to present it in film festivals in the near future. Under the Flower is certainly not a film to miss.