By Audrey Esther, news9.com INsite Team
Oklahoma is a long way away from Hollywood, but some Oklahoma City University students recently made movie history. OCU's first feature film by the Moving Image Arts program, "Unsolved", will premiere at this year's deadCENTER Film Festival.
"The outcome of the film is not a student film. It is an independent film," Fritz Kiersch, director of Oklahoma City University Moving Image Arts program, said. "Everyone who's seen it is amazed that students did everything on the film."
From the acting, to the editing, to the marketing, OCU students were involved in virtually every aspect of producing "Unsolved" Kiersch said.
"A feature film would give a whole different type of educational experience because it's more like what you're going to experience when you go out into the job market and try to work on a feature film," Lance McDaniel, "Unsolved" director and co-writer, said.
OCU also claims that "Unsolved" is one of the only student-produced feature length films in America. "Unsolved" revolves around a college student who as part of a criminology course must investigate a 15-year-old murder and figure out why it went unsolved.
Student actor Tinahsa Williams plays a supporting role in the film and hopes to one day have a career as an actress.
"This experience just gave everyone a slap in the face that they needed and the pat on the back they needed," Williams, an OCU graduate student and actress, said. "We got the hands- on experience delving into what we wanted to do and seeing what we didn't want to do."
"Unsolved" was the result of a class project and producing a film wasn't the goal, Kiersch said.
"The goal was to experience the process of making a film and in the end if we made a film, fantastic," he said.
While Hollywood will probably always be the ideal destination for these students, a successful film career in Oklahoma is possible, McDaniel said.
"You can make movies just as easily in Oklahoma as you can make them in Los Angeles, and what's even better is that you can afford to do it," he said.
"It is possible in Oklahoma," Williams said. "Proof, 'Unsolved'."
"Unsolved" premieres at the deadCENTER film festival on Friday June 13.