Alicia Bonestroo & Erika Buiter – Staff Writers
Last semester, Adam DeKleine, along with his cast and crew, presented a short film titled Pre-Mortem. A digital media major and director of the project, DeKleine created the film for his Short Film class—but the work for the film began before Fall 2018.
In the summer leading up to the class, digital media students collected scripts of films they wanted to produce. One of those scripts was Pre-Mortem. DeKleine and his crew, which included Kendra Nydam, Emi Stewart, Elizabeth Eckels, Zach Dirksen and Mackenzie Peterson, held auditions on September 12 and 13.
Ultimately, they cast a variety of students in the roles. Freshman Gerrit VanDyk played the film’s protagonist “Evan,” an ordinary guy; junior Erika Buiter played antagonist “Death”; and sophomore Jessica De Jauregui acted the part of homeless woman “Faith,” rounding out the three main characters of the film. Sam Landstra, Bethany Van Eps and Ben DeKleine also acted in the film.
After practicing lines, choosing locations, filming and editing for hours upon hours, DeKleine’s cast and crew presented their work in the Campus Center to an audience of students and family.
“I thought it would end here [in the Grille] at the screening, but I’ve been proved wrong so far,” DeKleine said.
He’s talking about the awards the film has won so far in film festivals. At the Mindfield Film Fest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the film won a Gold Award for Best Short Film, a Diamond Award for Best Direction and a Platinum Award for Best Editing.
On Saturday, DeKleine, Dirksen and VanDyk traveled to FairField, IA, for yet another award. Nominated for Best Student Production, the trio accepted an Award of Achievement from the Iowa Motion Picture Association.
“I was excited to be a part of something so respected and honored by other filmmakers and actors,” VanDyk said. “There’s just something so powerful in being surrounded by people who are passionate about the same things as you.”
And the film isn’t done racking up awards yet.
Pre-Mortem has also been submitted to several other film festivals, including the Upper Midwest Emmies, in which Pre-Mortem is nominated for a Students’ Emmy award for long form fiction. That film festival will take place on April 12.