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Four Student Films Selected for Cannes Film Festival

By Noell Saunders

Four Old Dominion University film students will screen their short films among some of the most prestigious cinematographers and documentarians around the world at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The selected films are "The Friend Zone" by Tyler Jones, Jake Brinn and Chelsey Kokoski; "Phoenix from Ashes" by Kristal Villarino; "Dreamer" by Caileigh Gold; and "Midnight Daydream" by Justin Herrera.

"I'm in disbelief," said Kristal Villarino, director and editor of "Phoenix: From the Ashes." "I feel honored and accomplished to share this experience with my colleagues."

"Phoenix from Ashes" is a documentary about the journey of a woman who has endured a miscarriage; The Friend Zone" is a comedy about a man and woman's encounter that ends up turning into rejection; "Dreamer" is a film about a young ballerina dreaming to dance like her favorite icon; and "Midnight Daydream" is about a man who struggles to cope after the death of his significant other.

Burton St. John, professor and interim chair of Old Dominion's Communication and Theatre Arts Department, said, "This is a very special recognition and we're especially proud of the strides that our students have made. We are impressed with how they have continued to elevate the presence of our film program."

All four films will be screened along with 30 other short films selected during Campus Movie Fest, a short-film competition that holds movie festivals on college campuses nationwide.

"I'm proud to say that Old Dominion is competing with much more established filmmaking programs," said David Mallin, director of ODU's Film Program. "We have the highest representation at this year's festival. It's a real eye opener that anything is possible."

Following the screenings at Cannes, each of the four films will compete in June in Atlanta at Terminus, a short film festival for Jury Award winners of Campus Movie Fest.

Watch the student films here:

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