UNCP Student’s Film Earns International Recognition


Qiana Swan walked into an Campus Moviefest interest meeting in November with minimal knowledge on filmmaking, but left the meeting with the motivation to learn what she needed to quickly to make a short movie to compliment her English final. Swan chose to focus on mental disorders and the stigma that others attach to it.

Swans’ film, entitled “Left in the Dark: Mental Disorders” earned her a top four finish in the festival, and the film will now move on to the “Terminus” showcase in Atlanta, with the opportunity to take part in the Cannes Film festival in France.

Swans’ movie interviews students and faculty member at UNCP and ask them what they think about mental illnesses and how it has affected them.

“Often people do not know how common a mental disorder is and how they affect people so I believe this to be a very important topic.” Said Swan.

Swan’s process for coming up with a title centered on finding something that would stick with people. “ I needed to find something catchy that will actually stay in people’s heads. It needed to grab your attention but at the same time have something to do with mental disorders. I picture mental disorders as a subject that is left in the dark.”

To be entered into the Campus Moviefest, every submission must be completed in one week. Swan spent her week not only running around campus looking for interviews, but also studying for her final while making the software edits for her film.

Swan said she got plenty of help from the people involved with Campus MovieFest. One of the biggest obstacles she faced was learning terminology that come natural to more advanced filmmakers.

Campus MovieFest is the world’s largest student film festival. Participating in the event is free, and over one million students around the world get the opportunity to make their own films. You can find all the short films sent to Campus

MovieFest at campusmoviefest.com, as well as information on how to sign up.

The Cannes Film Festival previews new movies from around the world in all genres. Many famous directors show their new movies at the festival, and many notable film stars attend the event as well. The Cannes Film Festival will celebrate its 70th anniversary.

“I believe my five minute documentary on the misunderstanding of mental disorders is very important four our society to recognize.” Said Swan. “We don’t allow discrimination against races, cultures, religions, age or sex, so we shouldn’t discriminate against people with a mental disorder.”

Responses Qiana got from those she interviewed ranged from “Misunderstood” to “Crazy, but not in a bad way”.

Some went into personal accounts of how mental disorder has affected them, and one person even added that a cousin who was dealing with mental disorder recently died.

Now Swan’s goal is to raise the funds needed to be able to travel to France. Her goal is to raise $5,000, which includes everything from hotel fees to airplane cost.

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