USM alumni win awards for feature film – Suffocation takes top honors at film festival
By Lydia Simmons, Arts and Culture Editor
In 2020, when a pandemic hit the world, many people had to change their plans and goals to adapt to the new way of life. For former USM Cody Curtis, he refused to let anything stop him from achieving his goal of creating a feature film highlighting mental health issues. From pre-production to post-production, including the festival circuit it currently encircles, Curtis’ feature film Suffocation has been an ongoing project for two years. A labor of love that has earned Curtis every minute.
Filming under COVID-19 restrictions had its stress for the set Suffocation team, but by following the necessary guidelines and safety precautions, they were able to complete production without a hitch. After filming, the editing process took place from early November 2020 to early May 2021. Although the editing process proved difficult at times, in the end Curtis said, “In the end, it turns out to be was definitely worth it because we released a product that we were actually quite proud of.
Asked about his general feelings about how the film turned out, Cutis said, “With any film project, there will always be things, whether it is a film or a theater project, there will be things. will always have things you wish you had improved. to. And while I have them in my head, I’m very happy with how the film came out in terms of the message I was trying to teach.
The film was well received by audiences at large, with some people with concerns giving advice on how to improve in the future, which Curtis will take into account in his future film projects. As for the festival circuit Suffocation is now an award-winning film, winning an award for Best Feature Film and Curtis winning the award for Best Director at the Hollywood International Golden Age Film Festival. Curtis said of winning the awards: “I’ve always seen the awards as the smallest of bonuses because what has always been most important to me has been telling a story and telling that story to the best of your ability. and if the rewards flow from it. , fantastic, but for me they were never the most important thing. But it feels good that the film got some recognition. “
The Suffocation project as a whole was a great success. Speaking of the main takeaways from the experience, Curtis said, “The biggest takeaway from the whole project for me would be that no matter how much I would love to do it all on my own, I have to rely more on people. ” In future projects, he plans to bring in more people to help in different ways to keep production running smoothly and to reduce some of the stress of making a movie.
Curtis has several upcoming projects he’s involved with, all three of which are shorts. He was assistant director and producer for the project of his friend Alex Cole, Grace which is now in post-production. He directs two other short films, one he wrote himself and one that Cole wrote. One of them, Delivery, will be released in November and the second, Up in smoke is set for December. An event will be organized to present the three short films in preview from the beginning to mid-January 2022.
You can donate to help raise funds for the next movie Delivery at the link below: