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'Once Crazy' to debut at Citizen Jane Film Festival in Columbia next month

September 23, 2015

 

After years of working behind the scenes at the Citizen Jane Film Festival, LeeAnne Lowry ’15 will be one of the stars of the festival this year.

Lowry’s short, “Once Crazy,” will be screened as part of the Ms.ouri Made program at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, at the Blue Note.

“It’s the perfect festival to start the festival circuit with,” Lowry said. “It’s poetic to end up essentially premiering the film there.”

Citizen Jane Film Festival is Oct. 22-25 on and around the Stephens College campus. The complete schedule and ticket information can be found here.

Lowry and a crew of mostly Stephens students worked on “Once Crazy” in 2014. The 14-minute film centers on a man, portrayed by actor Santiago Vasquez, who is in solitary confinement.

The prison has placed a telephone in his cell that allows a psychologist to call in and check on him—although he cannot make calls out.

When an old woman mistakenly calls the number believing she’s telephoned her grandson and will not be convinced otherwise, the two develop a relationship. Eventually, the prisoner begins believing he is, indeed, a businessman with a kind grandmother.

The film is a psychological thriller that will leave audiences questioning reality.

The film was also selected to be screened at the Kansas International Film Festival in Lowry’s hometown, Overland Park, in November.

“That was a big deal because we didn’t submit it; they asked for it,” Lowry said.

She said film organizers there called “Once Crazy” “Kafka-esque,” referring to Franz Kafka, author of dark short story, “The Metamorphosis.”

Additionally, the film was selected by the Miami Independent Film Festival as a monthly pick, meaning organizers of the main festival in March will review it.

Although not yet shown to wide audiences, “Once Crazy” was screened at the Senior Film Showcase at Stephens last semesters. Lowry said viewers have told her the film made them nervous.

Lowry is no stranger to making uncomfortable films. Last year, she filmed a classmate having her eyebrows shaved off.

The one-minute short has since been accepted in the Eyecatcher International Film Festival in Oklahoma.

“I’ve shown the film to a few people and it made them really tense,” she said. “I wasn’t trying to make any sort of cultural statement, but in film, we go for emotional reactions. So if it provokes thought about beauty, fashion or cultural norms, that’s great.”

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