A Whirlwind of Emotion

A Suffolk University student-made film that stirs the emotions while exploring profound matters has been accepted for the 2018 Independent Film Festival Boston.

A student-made film that stirs the emotions while exploring profound matters has been accepted for the 2018 Independent Film Festival Boston.

Ruth a fictional story set in Boston, depicts a young woman’s daylong contemplation of a single question: Will she make a first visit her father’s gravesite on the one-year anniversary of his death?

A team of 17 students from a variety of majors collaborated on the 10-minute film through the Suffolk student film club RamCam Productions. The short subject is part of a competitive student showcase showing at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Somerville Theatre, with an awards announcement to follow at 5 p.m.

Anatomy of a difficult choice

Jenna Locke, Class of 2019, a broadcast journalism major, plays Ruth, who rides an emotional rollercoaster before making her final decision.

“The message of the film is that everybody grieves and faces troubling situations differently, and that situations like these cannot be fixed in an instant,” said Alexa Miguel, Class of 2018, the film’s assistant director.

Miguel, a media studies major, made sure the film was completed on schedule and within budget, a task that drew on her organizational, communication, and time management skills.

“Working on this film was a new experience for me and a lot of other students, but we learned so much,” said Miguel, whose goal is to become a film and television producer. “It gave me confidence and prepared me for what I want to do with my life.”

Career prep

Dan Bravo, the film’s director of photography, said the experience taught him how an actual film production works. “I learned how you have to understand everyone’s roles and how those roles all have to come together.”

Bravo, Class of 2018, a film and media major, shot many of the scenes and devised the film’s visual look—lighting, camera angles, and aesthetics. He faced down many obstacles, including those posed by Mother Nature.

“The biggest challenge was the weather conditions shooting outside in January,” he said. “But working in stressful environments is part of this business.”

Bravo, who hails from Mexico, will head to Austin, Texas, after graduation to begin his career in the film production industry.

“What I enjoy most about this field is that it offers a lot of opportunities to be integrated and creative as an artist while working with people with the same goal in mind,” he said.

A range of experiences

David Apostolides served as director and Matt Brown as editor. Both are Class of 2018, and they also have an entry in the NESN Next Producer student film competition.

“Watching the film made me very proud,” said Professor Monika Raesch, chair of the Department of Communication & Journalism. “For all of our seniors involved, having their film screened at the IFF Boston is a great accomplishment—something many students dream of.

“They have worked so hard over their years at Suffolk, and the fruit of their labor shows. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the conclusion of one’s undergraduate studies.”

Ruth credits

  • Director - David Apostolides
  • Assistant Director - Alexa Miguel
  • Editor - Matt Brown
  • Director of Photography - Dan Bravo
  • Camera Operators - Stefan Jandrisevits, Marley Teague
  • Production Design - Claire Mulvena
  • Script Supervisor - Alyssa Grieve
  • Gaffer - Hope Burnside
  • First Assistant Camera- Sofia Carrillo, Angelik Elswick
  • Boom Operator - Giovanni Laurina
  • Grips - Angelique "Kiki" Rigas, Roxana Martinez
  • Location Scout - Veronica Mendez
  • Hair and Makeup - Kristy Fitzpatrick 
  • Graphic Designer - Lexie Piepmeier

Campus community pitches in

Suffolk staff members also helped support the production, with Kristin Baker, director of the Performing Arts Office, playing the role of Ruth’s mother, and Stephanie Kendall, associate director/American Psychological Association training coordinator in the Counseling, Health & Wellness Center, playing Ruth’s therapist.

Alexandra Paterson, now director of orientation and family programs, served as the film’s group adviser while she was on the Student Leadership and Involvement staff.

Student filmmakers Alexa Miguel, Dan Bravo, David Apostolides, and Matt Brown.
Student filmmakers Alexa Miguel, Dan Bravo, David Apostolides, and Matt Brown.

Media Contact

Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs