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Two ODU Students Will Screen Their Short Film at Cannes

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Two Old Dominion University film students will rub shoulders with cinema's elite in May, when their short film "Flushed" is screened in the short film event at the world-famous Cannes Film Festival.

"I don't think I've even processed it yet, to be honest," said Jake Brinn, president of the ODU Film Club and writer, director and editor of "Flushed."

"The only film contest I've ever been to is the 48 Hour Film Project in Norfolk. I've always wanted to go to a festival like Cannes, but I can't believe it's happened so fast."

Brinn and Chris Conner, cinematographer of the 5-minute film and a fellow student in the film program of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, will be in France from May 16 to 29. "Flushed" will be screened along with 44 other short films selected during Campus Movie Fest, a short-film competition that holds movie festivals on college campuses nationwide.

"Flushed" is a charming story of a man on a blind date who has a misadventure in the bathroom of a restaurant and experiences a surprise happy ending. See the film HERE.

The film was made for Campus Movie Fest, which was held for the first time at Old Dominion University in 2016. "Flushed" won Best Performance and the Jury Award. Many members of the ODU Film Club contributed to the production.

Brinn, whose favorite film is "Catch Me If You Can" and favorite director is Steven Spielberg, is attracted to good storytelling in his filmmaking. "It's really all about the story. It's what makes me love a film," Brinn said.

There's also a good story being told in the growth of the film program at Old Dominion University.

Stephen Pullen, chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, said projects like "Flushed," as well as award-winning short films "Our Nation" and "Carmelita" produced by ODU film students, are raising the program's profile.

"Jake and his colleagues in the ODU Film Club are among the most talented, innovative, hard-working and imaginative filmmakers we've had at ODU in many years," he said. "The work they have done on films like "Flushed," "Our Nation" and "Carmelita" is simply outstanding. We're so excited that they've been invited to present their film, "Flushed," at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. This is a great honor for ODU and a real feather in the cap of the ODU Film Program."

Brinn said a large crew of ODU Film Club members participated in the making of "Flushed." They include sound mixer and co-editor Hope Marie Wager, casting director and location scout Phillip Martin, first assistant director Adara Brown, wardrobe coordinator Candace Barnes, key grip Zack Soriano, makeup Chelsea Kokoski, production designer Brandon Chin Yee, and assistant production coordinator and grip Darren Dixson.

Brinn, who has an acting background, made the decision to hire local professional actors for "Flushed." "I saw a lot of the other films entered in Campus Film Fest cast students. We wanted to go a different direction, to hopefully make our film stand out," he said.

The film stars Brian Breshears as the movie's hero; Anna Tozzi-Barbay as his blind date; Joanna Burke as the restaurant waitress, and Matteo John as a restaurant customer.

Following the screening at Cannes, "Flushed" will compete in June in Atlanta at Terminus, a short film festival for Jury Award winners of Campus Movie Fest.

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