Thursday, December 10, 2009

CSUMB TAT students Rodrigo Ojeda- Beck and Robert Machoian accepted to Sundance Film Festival

CSU-Monterey Bay will have some representation at the biggest independent film festival in the United States — The Sunset Film Festival.
That's where CSUMB alumni Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck and Robert Machoian will have their short film "Charlie and the Rabbit" screened in the dramatic shorts category at Sundance, which takes place Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Utah.

The short film program compromises 70 films from the Unites States and international film makers, selected from more than 6000 submissions.

Machoian is a 2007 graduate and Ojeda-Beck a 2009 graduate of CSUMB's Teledramatic Arts ant Technology (TAT) department. "Charlie and the Rabbit" is about a 4-year-old named Charlie who loves Bugs bunny and decides to hunt a rabbit of his own. (More after the jump).

"(The story of) Charlie has to do with choice," said Machoian, who was born and raised in King City. "We have to make choices constantly."

TAT department chair Enid Baxter Blader said the alumni success is proof that her department is among the best in the nation.

"This is more evidence that CSUMB has one of the leading film and video programs in the country, said Blader, who helped initiate the pairing when both were TAT students under her tutelage.

On Blader's suggestion, Machoian began working with Ojeda-Beck on a school project. Soon after, the pair began cranking out short movies at a furious clip, creating 13 total a four-month stretch.

One of those films was "Ella and the Astronaut," the first in a short-series that the pair dubbed "Youth Without Youth." That film was selected to several film festivals in 2008.
"Charlie and the Rabbit" is the second film in that series. Machoian said they recently completed the third and final film in the series.

"Charlie and the Rabbit" will premier at Sundance, then make the rounds through several other film festivals over the next two years. A stipulation of acceptance into the Sundance Film Festival is they cannot distribute it independently during that time period.

"The film has a two year life span on the film festival circuit," said Machoian. "The Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals are the only way to view the film."

Blader said she was proud of her students accomplishment and pleased with their overall production.

"Their work uses a careful approach to image and pacing," she said. "It's able to reach wide audiences and resonate with people all over the place."

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