The film, titled “Ella,” was directed by award-winning director and Lee alum Myles Matsuno (Class of 2009). “Ella” details the story of a young music composer attempting to reconcile, through his music, the loss of his fiancée and their unborn child.
Matsuno's films have won awards in several 48-hour film festivals, and his film “Under the Sun” was accepted in the Short Corner at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
The film was shot in Cleveland and Chattanooga last fall and stars Lee alum Jermaine Purifory (2010) and Erin Ownbey (2011).
The production team included several Lee telecomm students, alumni and other professional staff.
Ownbey said, “It was such a fabulous collaboration of people that aren't merely old colleagues or students, but friends. The film is successful and special because the story and the characters belong to all of us, not just the actors or Myles; everyone on the crew made the film come alive.”
The Lee students, staff and alumni involved in making “Ella” are as follows: producers Courtney Henry (public relations 2010), Jeff Salyer (telecomm 2001), Jonathan Smith (telecomm 2009); actors Jenna Achten (public relations 2010/teaching 2012), Bryan Sanders (communication 2009); Camera Beecher Reuning (telecomm 2012), Shashank Shrestha (telecomm 2011); production designer Isabelle Slick (public relations 2010); production assistants Amber Sersen (telecomm 2012), Depreena Robertson (telecomm 2011); and make-up artist Hillary Tedrick (history education 2012).
The city of Chattanooga is sponsoring a screening of the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany's” at the historic Tivoli Theater, located in Downtown Chattanooga, and has included “Ella” as the initial film in the screening.
Matsuno was the former technical director/film director/editor at Disney ABC Television Group in Los Angeles.
Currently residing in Atlanta, he continues to make narrative films and promotional videos for nonprofit organizations across the United States.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and “Ella” will begin at 8 p.m. followed by a question-and-answer session from the production team. Tickets are $8 and can only be purchased at the door.