MCLA

A Great Start

Freshman filmmaker wins at festival


05/06/2009

He may have only just begun his college career, but already Cody Romano '12 is an award-winning filmmaker. Last month, his seven-minute film not only debuted at the Boston International Film Festival - which featured films with actors like Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Angela Bassett and Ethan Hawke - it garnered Romano the Indie Soul Special Recognition Award.

"I'm very excited and honored," said Romano, who is from Cambridge, Mass.

With only $300 to spend on the production, he created "Dawn," the result of his personal interest in the poetry of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet.

"It was a tribute to his work. I wasn't sure anyone else would like it," Romano said. "My concern was that it would only appeal to literary people and people who were fans of the poetry, but I'm happy that it apparently appeals to a broader audience as well."

The short film, based on three sonnets by Neruda, was one of 100 selected from more than 2,500 film submissions. It was screened at the Loews Cinema on the Boston Common.

"It's really exciting because it's my favorite theater in Boston and I've seen so many films there," said Romano, who turned 19 on the day of his film's premiere. "To be able to see my film in the festival is just surreal."

Romano and his friends, who star in the film, shot it over a few weeks last summer while he was working at Cambridge Community Television. Because his mother is a filmmaker, he already had the equipment he needed.

"It took me about a week to create a screenplay from the three sonnets I combined, then another week to storyboard it out. I feel that a lot of people try to make films with plots that are really complex and complicated. I wanted to take the basic human emotions of love and passion and see how deep we could go into it," Romano said.

MCLA faculty and staff first saw Romano's work last spring, when the Office of Admission received a five-minute video application, along with the standard paperwork. He has also spent time filming videos for the College's admissions office, which can be seen on the MCLA Web site.

Although he was accepted to 12 different colleges and universities, he selected MCLA in part because of the College's welcoming environment.

"It's not something I can describe," he said. "It's something everyone should come and experience for themselves."

Romano said that, since arriving on campus, MCLA faculty and staff have been very supportive.

"Because it's a small school, it's been easy for me to be able to have people willing to spread the word about my work and to have a genuine interest in what I'm doing, which I don't think I could find at a larger college."