August 1, 2022

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Julianne Cozette ’22 and her co-star won four awards at July’s Monthly Best Online Short Film Festival with her lead short, “Be Well.”

Click here to watch “Be Well”. (Content Warning: The film contains depictions of eating disorders and suicide.)

The short film was named Best Drama, while Cozette won Best Screenplay and Best Actress. Richard Diamond ’22 also won Best Actor for his role in the film. “Be Well” was also a finalist in the Best Independent Short Film category. Both Cozette and Diamond studied acting at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Julianne Cozette ’22 and Richard Diamond ’22 star in the short film “Be Well”, written and produced by Cozette.

Cozette wrote, produced and starred in “Be Well” alongside Diamond. His film tells the semi-autobiographical story of two people who find love in a psychiatric hospital.

“At its heart, it aims to illustrate the unique relationships people often form at the lowest times in their lives, and how those relationships save you, but ultimately are inevitably unsustainable,” she said. “It’s bitterly ironic but heartfelt and real.”

The screenplay for this short film was written in the May 2021 Screenwriting course, taught by Associate Professor of Theater Arts and Acting Program Manager Tom Quinn. “Be Well” was also featured in IWU’s Guerrilla Film Festival 2022.“I had the great pleasure of watching this film develop, literally from start to finish,” he said.

Quinn directed “Be Well” and helped bring Cozette’s vision to fruition.

“Julianne’s screenplay is deeply personal, very clever, and extremely well-written,” Quinn said. “In addition, she offered several rich and challenging roles for her classmates.”

Cozette said this was her first experience working on a major film project and she found that working with her fellow students at the School of Theater Arts made the trip more enjoyable. In the future, she hopes to write more screenplays.

“It’s fascinating to know what kinds of stories are best told through certain mediums, be it film, drama, novel, audiobook, poem, etc., and how all of these mediums will change the way whose story is received,” Cozette said. “Cinema has a unique way of making everyday nuances and subtleties extremely clear and critical.”

By MJ Soria ’25