FAIRFIELD, CT - The new independent film, Detonator, will be featured on April 13 at Sacred Heart University as part of a special preview of the New England Film & Music Festival (NEFMF). The festival will continue to screen selections at theaters across the region. Viewers will experience an advance screening of its curated feature and short films and vote on their favorites as part of the process of choosing which will be highlighted at the festival’s culminating event on September 28 at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.
The Sacred Heart event is generating extra excitement this year as it coincides with the university’s launch this fall of the one-year film and television master’s program (FTMA).
“We plan to be a hub for regional production and entertainment. This festival is the kind of experience our students will be exposed to in the new graduate program,” said Hartford native Damon Maulucci, co-writer/co-director of Detonator. Maulucci helped design the FTMA program with fellow faculty member Justin Liberman. Both are accomplished filmmakers, Connecticut natives and graduates of Columbia University’s master’s film program.
The two have designed the graduate program to foster the kind of talent that is hailed at NEFMF and that will draw national and international attention to the burgeoning New England film industry.
“It’s our primary focus to create a culture and community of filmmaking in Connecticut,” said Liberman, who grew up in Connecticut and filmed Tobacco Burn, his latest project, locally. “We want the program at Sacred Heart to be a place where filmmakers come together, activate one another and galvanize a culture of success.”
Like Detonator, the films being previewed at Sacred Heart have already gained notoriety at other prestigious festivals like Sundance, Cinequest and the Toronto International Film Festival. Audience members can look forward to seeing films belonging to categories that include drama, action/crime, comedy and documentary.
In the category of comedy/drama, Detonator, which is being shown at 8:15 p.m. on April 13, is a gritty thriller with a punk-rock vibe set in Philadelphia. The movie is about old friends, divergent paths and what can happen in one hellish night when everything collides. It is part of a new wave of indie cinema, telling naturalistic and character-driven stories on a “micro-budget.” With its action lit by the glow of streetlights, the film uses clever camerawork and authentic locations to achieve a unique style and production value.
As his movie is making its way to distribution and through the film festival circuit, Maulucci has a message for aspiring filmmakers and their fans. “I want to inspire and empower. We demystify the process. You can tell your own stories,” he said.
“Whether you want to study how to write and direct and produce films and television or be a viewer who expands your own awareness of the growing market, Sacred Heart is making that possible,” concluded Joanne Kabak, communication professor.
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