The Mont Alto Film Project, an innovative practicum in independent filmmaking originating on the Penn State Mont Alto campus, and Third Child Productions, a Pennsylvania independent film company operated by Penn State English Professor Kevin Alexander Boon, announced that the project’s second feature, the supernatural thriller “Ghosting,” has been selected to screen at the inaugural Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival (HHFF), which runs Sept. 11-15 at the Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
"Ghosting" screens with a block of three short films at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. "Ghosting" is one of only six juried feature films chosen for the festival. Tickets to the event are available on the festival website (http://harrisburghersheyfilmfestival.com/).
“I am thrilled our film is going to show at the festival,” said Boon, who produced and directed the film. “It honors the hard work of everyone involved in the project and validates the idea that boundaries between the classroom and the world beyond can be transcended.”
“Ghosting” is about the son of an alcoholic father and a schizophrenic mother who begins to see the image of a mysterious man in photographs taken by different people in small towns all over the country. When he learns that no one else can see the man, he fears he may have inherited his mother's schizophrenia and sets out to reclaim his sanity by unraveling the supernatural mystery.
The film was mainly produced in Pennsylvania and includes scenes shot on location on the Penn State Mont Alto campus in Mont Alto, Pennsylvania, The Ragged Edge Coffee Shop and Lincoln Diner in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and at various spots in Fairfield and Littlestown, Pennsylvania. The film also includes scenes shot in Taneytown, Maryland.
The crew behind the camera was made up of current students from the Penn State Mont Alto and University Park campuses, former Penn State students, and volunteers from the local community. Cinematographer Edwin Koester, both a former Mont Alto student and University Park graduate, took time from his busy schedule as head of videography at Music & Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland, to direct photography on the film. The film was cast from auditions held on the Penn State Mont Alto campus and Shenandoah Conservatory for the Arts in Winchester, Virginia. Professional actors came from all over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to audition. A number of key roles were won by local actors, including Michael Mowen and Bex Etter, both from the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, area, who earned the two lead roles.
“Ghosting” has just begun its festival run and has already won awards at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, the Tupelo Film festival, and the Indie Gathering International Film Festival. In addition to its screening in Harrisburg, it has upcoming festival screenings in Washington, D.C.; New Haven, Connecticut; Brewster, New York; at the Golden Door International Film Festival in Jersey City, New Jersey; and the Gettysburg International Film Festival in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The Mont Alto Film Project is the brainchild of Boon. It is a two-year practicum in micro-budget filmmaking based at the Mont Alto campus and brings Penn State students, industry professionals, and professional actors together to create a professional independent film. The project began in 2009. “Ghosting” is the second production to come out of the project. The first is the award-winning film, “Two Days Back.” Boon originally conceived the project “as a way to give students real-world experience and help build relationships with local communities,” he said. “I think we’ve achieved that.”
A number of students who participated in that project have gone on to work in film, video or television production in Pennsylvania and Hollywood. Former Penn State student Evan Nelson, for example, participated in both film projects and has since held positions with HBO and Conan O’Brien, and he recently finished working on this season of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
For more information on “Ghosting,” visit http://ghostingmovie.com. For more information on the Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival, visit http://harrisburghersheyfilmfestival.com.