Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Film fest ’11 part two: what really matters

Here’s a more in-depth look at all the films shown at this year’s FAU film festival, with descriptions and ratings.

Since there were no official descriptions of the films posted on the FAU Film Club sites nor on the official program, the UP created them.

Here’s our review of this year’s film festival itself.


Ponce’s movie ratings scale

– 1-3: Don’t bother

– 4: Merely caught my attention

– 5: Decent

– 6: Worth watching

– 7: Average

– 8: Wow, you’re good!

– 9: Stellar!

– 10: Are you James Cameron’s son/daughter?!

* Film ratings are based on film quality (sound levels, etc.), acting, editing, cinematography, storyline and cohesiveness.


Buzzed, directed by Peter Amirato 

When I talked to the editor of Buzzed, Ryan Chavez, he told me that it was a spontaneous production about the Film Club’s president, Peter Amirato, getting a haircut. At the time, he needed one and the club decided to make a film about it. Buzzed is a funny short film at the expense of the president getting abducted to have a very intense haircut.

Bottom Line:

Taken from experience, spontaneous films are fun to make, but it’s very difficult to make a good spontaneous short film.

The UP‘s Rating: 6 out of 10 stars



Anywhere But Heredirected by Dillan Cohen

According to the Film Club, this is a second version of the film because it was reshot. I went over this film in more detail in my official review of the festival. It is a coming-of-age film about four best friends who don’t want to grow up.

Winner of the Best Actress Award, Gina Coviello.

Bottom Line:

I haven’t been disappointed by Cohen’s work so far. It’s very well shot, but the plot was iffy at times.

The UP‘s Rating: 8 out of 10 stars



The Time Traveling John Adams, directed by Peter Amirato 

Produced by the Film Club, The Time Traveling John Adams is a silent short film parody in which John Adams magically travels through time and interrupts an FAU Film Club meeting.

Bottom Line:

The Time Traveling John Adams has a great vintage feel to it, makes you laugh and was produced by the Film Club. Everyone’s happy.

The UP‘s Rating: 7 out of 10 stars



La Sacre Du Printemps, directed by Matthew Perez

According to the Film Club, Perez’s film was originally made for his video production class and then was submitted to the festival. La Sacre Du Printemps, translated “The Rite of Spring,” uses scenic visuals of the on-campus football stadium currently in construction, accompanied by a classical soundtrack to stimulate the mind.

Winner of the Best Editing Award, Matthew Perez.

Bottom Line:

La Sacre Du Printemps was well constructed to Stravinsky’s ominous score,also entitled La Sacre Du Printemps. Since there is no dialogue or characters in the film, though, the message may be hard to understand for the average viewer.

The UP‘s Rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars



Sketch, directed by Giancarlo Candida and Ammar Marimutu

This was by far my favorite film from this year’s film festival. I’m surprised, though, that this film did not win any awards. Sketch is about a young man who supposedly has a dark past, which he reminisces on by going to a graveyard and sketching a picture of his baby daughter.

Bottom Line:

The overall composition of Sketch seriously convinced me that I was watching an anti-drug public service announcement when I first saw the opening shots of the film. The casting was spot on, and really made the performance believable.

The UP‘s Rating: 9 out of 10 stars



Empty Pages, directed by Verner Maldonado

Taking place in a Marriott hotel, Empty Pages is about an inquisitive young girl staying at the hotel who follows around a very nosy housekeeping maid.

Winner of Best Screenplay, Matthew Schlissel.

Bottom Line:

Schlissel is definitely a stronger script-writer, and I think he should stick to that more than directing. This film reinforced that.

The UP‘s Rating: 7 out of 10 stars



3600, directed by Jason Labrada

3600 is an action film about a secret agent who has 3600 seconds to disarm a bomb that he is given a key to find.

Bottom Line:

After watching this film it’s obvious to me that the visual effects editor for this film has a better-than-average knowledge of Adobe After Effects. However, the plot was boring and typical of a secret agent film and the acting was amateurish. I don’t know how much time was spent on this film, but it could have been a lot better.

The UP‘s Rating: 6 out of 10 stars



Roach, directed by Ryan Chavez 

Roach is a comedy film about two roommates who try everything possible to eradicate a cockroach from their apartment.

Bottom Line:

This film is more comical than anything else, but is enjoyable to watch.

The UP‘s Rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars



Busca Vida, directed by Daniel Cardenas

Busca Vida, translated “Looking for Life,” is about a young teenager who copes with poverty in the Dominican Republic. You can read my other comments in my official review.

Winner of Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor:Xavier Cardenas, and the Hooter’s Choice Award.

Bottom Line:

Busca Vida had the longest running time of the festival (30 minutes) and has a fantastic plot that contrasts life in the Dominican Republic versus life in America.

The UP‘s Rating: 9 out of 10 stars


† Denotes films that were produced by the FAU Film Club

*The film Fixation by Elizabeth Hodapp could not be reviewed because a copy was not provided to the UP for revision.

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