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Film Festival Opportunity for Boise State Alums

Boy loves girl, girl loves digging up graves. This is the succinct description Darrell Boatwright gave of the film “Lucy” (of which he plays the male lead) that will be one of the many Boise-based films screening at this year’s Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF).

“Lucy,” directed and written by Boise State alum Chaz Gentry, is a short film exploring the human limits. How far will this man go to pursue his love interest, when her first date suggestion is digging up a body?

“I was having a conversation with a friend about digging up graves, literally, and seeing how far we could go without getting in trouble,” Gentry said.

Though Gentry came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth the trouble, he wrote a poem about it instead, where he had no boundaries.

“The poem was so visual that I almost felt dedicated to turn it into a movie,” Gentry said.

The SVFF held a kick-off event at the Stueckle Sky  Center  on Feb. 27 to celebrate and announce their new partnership with Boise State.

Every year the festival hosts Coffee Talks described by Candice Pate, director of the SVFF for the past two years as “the crown jewel of the festival.”

The Coffee Talks happen every morning of the festival at around 10 a.m. and go for about an hour, where a prominent figure from the festival will sit down and chat with all who attend.

“Really engaging, intimate conversations, fascinating stuff,” Pate said about the Coffee Talks.

Last year Jodie Foster held one of the talks, and this year Kevin Smith will be at the Coffee Talk Sunday morning to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his film “Clerks.” And the best part is that they are free and open to the public.

As part of their new partnership, Boise State is sponsoring the Coffee Talks this year.

Mark Rudin, vice president of Research and Economic Development, thought it was important to reach out to the SVFF.

“I think it forms a great opportunity for students to be able to be exposed to different films,” Rudin said. “We do have students that are in the periphery of film.”

Rudin was looking for a way to encourage students to get out and attend the festival.

“Plus some of these filmmakers that are showing films are Boise State alums,” Rudin said.

One group of Boise State alums will be showing off their film “Damn Thing,” an adaptation piece from a novel by Ambrose Bierce dating to the Civil War era. The film was worked on by Rory Patterson, Jake Kuwana, Cory Buscher and Jesse Cordtz, all Boise State alums.

Patterson, Kuwana, and Buscher have even created their own production company, Tick Tock Media.

Cordtz, who directed the film, graduated from Boise State in 2005 with a communication degree. He began his career in photography and radio, before he began working in film.

“They were teaching you the market that’s here,” Cordtz said on his education at Boise State. “And the market that’s here is news, photography, broadcast journalism sort of work. I don’t think that film production was necessarily ever a big interest for the communication department, because there wasn’t the industry here.”

Cordtz has had a film show at SVFF every year since its creation. He was also an adjunct professor at Boise State for four years, teaching 3D animation and video production. Cordtz finds that the Idaho film industry is still in its infancy.

“I think that there was a large push, a decade ago, to bring Hollywood here, which ultimately showed to be the wrong approach, because there is no domestic industry at all,” Cordtz said. “I feel like now, there’s been a refocus to grow the domestic, local industry first. In ten years it will be a whole new world.”

About keelymills (0 Articles)
Keely Mills is a senior communication major with a media production emphasis at Boise State. When Mills isn't writing or reading, she plays musical instruments such as the drums, guitar, piano, and accordion. Mills is always ready for travel and for learning new things. Follow her on twitter, @PelozaJ and check out her photos at