WOKE is a short independent student film inspired by true events. The film takes a satirical/comedic approach while tackling the heavy subject of racial tensions in present day society. It’s told through the lens of Luzvery, an Afrolatina student who’s seeking a community where she can feel included. Her expectations and morals are challenged when she joins the Diversity & Inclusion council, led by Robert (played by Jake Casper), the charming, yet blatantly ignorant founder and president of the club. The rest of the council is made up by Barbara (played by Belle Flint), the Vice-President who is poised, smart, yet blind to the ignorance of her peers; Molly (played by Lauren Esper), the extremely rich and spoiled secretary who’s obsessed with herself; Mark (played by Nick Spatola), the flamboyant token gay member of the council; and Pierre (played by Ken Roberts), the only person of color who is merely there for that reason. The Diversity & Inclusion Council is challenged when Luz comes in; much to the surprise of Robert, who is not used to having his authority and ideals questioned.
The idea was first conceived by Mónica Liao Quéliz, who’s acting as director and co-screenwriter. An international student from the Dominican Republic; Liao Quéliz moved to the U.S. four years ago. The film is heavily based on her own experience, as well as the experience of her other peers who identify as people of color. Alana Bergeron is producing the film, and was immediately on-board with the project given the story and context of it. Libby HA, the director of photography, has been doing an amazing job at bringing the comedic and emotional aspects of the film through the camera lens. Harrison Svihla, who serves as the script supervisor is doing a superb job at making sure the film has continuous verbal and visual integrity. He’s also co-screenwriter, and made sure the script had a fair balance of the comedic, satirical, and emotional aspects. Liam Griffin’s experience with lighting has been extremely beneficial for his role as gaffer. His knowledge and ability to be quick on his feet has been making the visuals look vibrant, consistent, and true to the nature of the film. Charlie Barbera is mainly the set designer, but he also serves as actor, acting coach, co-screenwriter, and composer. His vast experience with theater has come in extremely handy; especially by making the final draft of the script succinct without losing its essence. His willingness to always lend a hand to all of the departments has been extremely helpful as well. Cole Walker is the sound mixer. A technically and physically challenging role, Walker does a great job at making sure the sound is consistent and clear. He has also been of great help when it comes to collaborating with other departments. Last but not least, Erik Galins serves as our editor. Thanks to his past film experience, his editing will help the film come to fruition successfully.
In the future, we hope to submit WOKE to film festivals. However, ultimately the intent is to start a conversation and bring awareness to the reality we are living in.
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