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Lowry to film senior project at state penitentiary

July 2, 2014


LeeAnne Lowry has begun work on her senior project, a short film about a prisoner who deals with the effects of being alone.
The film will be screened at a campus showcase in the spring and possibly at additional venues. 
Lowry is hopeful: The lead actor, Kansas City-based Santiago Hernan Vasquez, has appeared in other films that have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest.
Lowry has also secured a location—she’s gotten permission to shoot for two nights next month at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.
The film centers on a prisoner in solitary confinement who is allowed a telephone in order to receive weekly calls from a psychiatrist. When an elderly woman calls him by mistake thinking she’s reached her grandson, the prisoner goes along with it. As he begins to create a new identity for himself, things around him begin to physically change.
“You begin to question what’s real and not real,” she said.
Lowry credits the story plot to watching lots of prison-themed movies with her roommate—the only genre they could agree on, she joked. She began wondering about the effects of solitary confinement and what might happen if a prisoner had one outlet to the outside world.
“On the surface, it’s about solitary confinement, but it’s more relatable than that,” she said. “It’s about solitude versus connectivity, letting someone in and caring about them and when that relationship is threatened.”
Lowry recently launched a fundraising campaign to offset some of the costs of the professional actor and location. She has 25 days to raise $2,000 through Indegogo.

The crew is mainly made up of student filmmakers. Haley Padilla, a senior, is serving as producer; junior Kirsten Izzett is art director; and junior Livvy Runyon is director of photography.

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