Student Film Directors Debut at International Film Festivals

Most aspiring filmmakers only dream of someday debuting a film at an international film festival. But, for two Montclair State undergrads last spring – Jenna Leung ’13 and junior Jamison LoCascio – that dream became reality. In May, Leung’s film, Folded Hope, which she wrote and directed, debuted at the 66th Cannes Film Festival and LoCascio’s short film Midnight Catch debuted at the New Jersey International Film Festival.

Folded Hope, Leung’s senior thesis film that was created with a crew of Montclair State filmmaking students and alumni, tells the story of a terminally ill girl and her mother who struggle with the physical and emotional implications of the daughter’s illness.

“The story is derived from an ancient Japanese legend that says if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, you’ll get your wish,” explains Leung, noting that she folded around 4,000 paper cranes for the movie. “I am currently looking to donate them to hospitals.”

LoCascio’s Midnight Catch, the story of a friendly bond between two men that turns deadly when they realize they are on the opposite sides of the law, was filmed in Montclair. “There’s this certain emotional connection you have with this sort of landscape,” said LoCascio, who wants to continue making films in New Jersey after he graduates. “I could see making a lot of films here.”