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PBS Online Film Festival 2019

Balloon Girl

WSIU is pleased to announce our entry, Balloon Girl. It was selected as one of 25 films featured in the PBS Online Film Festival 2019.

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ABOUT THE FILM

At the park, a little girl proudly carries her red balloon. As she passes a mother trying to soothe her crying baby, the baby stops crying at the sight of the girl’s balloon. The girl loves her balloon, but so does the baby –what should she do? Balloon Girl tells the story of a young girl’s compassion and how it changes a complete stranger’s day, showing that little things make a big difference.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

Realized by Shabnam Rezaei and Big Bad Boo Studios, Balloon Girl is written by Daniel Errico and Directed by Shabnam Rezaei.

A former mechanical engineer, Daniel Errico left his career at an investment bank to create freechildrenstories.com. In the years since, he has produced multiple number one best-selling children’s ebooks with B & N and has books in stores nationwide through Sky Pony Press. His works have been made into books, best-selling ebooks, animated films, apps, and even plays. Throughout, his stories have been available online to encourage literacy and free media for kids.

Shabnam Rezaei is co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios and has written, created, directed and produced multiple, award-winning animated children’s TV series, including Hulu’s “The Bravest Knight”, TVOKids “16 Hudson”, “Mixed Nutz” and “1001 Nights” which airs in 80 countries. Prior to this, Shabnam spent 10 years on Wall Street in held managerial positions at EXIS, Misys and Deloitte & Touche. She has  a BS in Computer Science, a BA in German Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from NYU. As a polyglot, she believes in raising children with a world view which led her to start the multilingual platform Oznoz, featuring cartoons in 10 languages or kids.

ABOUT THE PRESENTING PARTNER

WSIU Public Broadcasting is a vital community resource dedicated to improving the quality of life for millions of people across five states and beyond. We offer multiple digital television channels and radio stations, local production units, community engagement and interactive online services such as web, podcasts, videos and social media channels. WSIU provides equal access to news, arts, culture, science, history and educational programming that inspires learning for everyone. The WSIU stations are a service learning and professional development experience for students of all ages, including more than 100 students of Southern Illinois University who build their media production skills in our stations. WSIU is proud to partner with PBS Online Film Festival to showcase the creative work of diverse students, faculty and independent media producers.


2018 Entry: Super Predator: Preludes of the Black fish

Written, produced, and directed by SIU student filmmaker Kelechi Agwuncha

Learn more at pbs.org/filmfestival. Follow #PBSFilmFest on social media for updates.

The film explores the realities people-of-color face while navigating the prejudicial bounds of society. The film has been selected as one of 25 independent short films featured in the 2018 PBS Online Film Festival.

Taz Wilson, a recent graduate from the SIU Department of Theater, portrays the film’s protagonist character and additional support is provided by students from the Department of Cinema & Photography: Martha Osornio, Caitlin Rodgers, Emily Rawden, Adam Dieter, and Timmy Rosenberg.


ABOUT THE FILM

Written, produced, and directed by SIU student filmmaker Kelechi Agwuncha, ‘Super Predator: Preludes of the Black Fish’ is a metaphor of race in America and explores the realities people-of-color face while navigating the prejudicial bounds of society. The film has been selected as one of 25 independent short films featured in the 2018 PBS Online Film Festival.

Taz Wilson, a recent graduate from the SIU Department of Theater, portrays the film’s protagonist character and additional support is provided by students from the Department of Cinema & Photography: Martha Osornio, Caitlin Rodgers, Emily Rawden, Adam Dieter, and Timmy Rosenberg.


JOIN US FOR A LOCAL SCREENING EVENT

Join us MondayJuly 16 from 5-7pm at Carbondale Community Arts (located at 304 W. Walnut St. in Carbondale), for a free screening and discussion of the film ‘Super Predator: Preludes of the Black Fish.’ This event is free and open to the public. Guests will enjoy refreshments, a cash bar, and have the chance to view additional festival entries. The event is presented by Carbondale Community Arts and WSIU with support from the SIU Department of Cinema & Photography and the College of Mass Communications & Media Arts at SIU. For more information call (618) 453-4344.


ABOUT THE FILMMAKER

Super Predator Filmmaker Kelechi Agwuncha
Super Predator Filmmaker Kelechi Agwuncha

Kelechi Agwuncha is a media student in the Department of Cinema & Photography within the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is passionate about telling stories focused on marginalized individuals and her cinematic motivations are fueled by investigations of realism and pseudo-documentary.

A Word from the Filmmaker

I couldn’t be more excited! As a filmmaker, writer, producer, and cinematographer, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to share my talent and to showcase the many opportunities available to SIU students in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Her films have been broadcast on WSIU Public Television and screened in exhibitions including the Black International Cinema Berlin, Chicago International Film Festival CineYouth, Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival. In the past, she has also served as president of the Big Muddy Film Festival, a premiere national student-run organization.

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Caption: Taz Wilson appears as the film’s protagonist, Black Fish; Credit: Kelechi Agwuncha.