Local Film and Student Academy Awards | Program Notes

Local Film and Student Academy Awards

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Mark Christian was used to Pittsburgh's unpredictable weather, but nothing could've prepared him for nights in Arizona. In roughly two hours, the temperature had dropped more than 40 degrees, and soon, his spirits had followed suit. Sitting on a dolly in the middle of the desert, the Point Park senior couldn't help but think, "This is absolutely the worst experience of my life."

Then, Christian remembered just how encouraging his cast and crew had remained throughout the shoot. "It was that moment where I was I like, ‘I have people that actually care and support me,'" he says. "That was the best moment of the whole week, when I actually realized that every single person there was there for my project."

Christian had helped assemble dozens of people outside Tucson this winter to film "Requited," a 12-minute Western recently selected as one of nine finalists in the "narrative" category at the Student Academy Awards, an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences-sponsored national competition.

The movie, which borrows characters and scenes from a previous short, "The Kid," centers on John, an outlaw bent on avenging his brother's death. Christian wrote the film's screenplay and served as the director of photography. 

Although "Requited" didn't make the final selection round of three films (which was announced this week), Madeline Puzzo, the director and production designer, says she was more than pleased with its performance.

"Just the fact that we were able to compete with some of those other films, especially with films coming from the schools they were coming from — it felt pretty good, actually," Puzzo says. "It was gratifying to get as far as we did."

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