Cornell’s Fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival Showcases Student Films

On 22 Jul., 2019

audience award winner was “Zvoov,” by Lee Manor from SUNY Purchase.

Cornell’s Fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival Showcases Student Films

Friday’s audience award winner was “Zvoov,” by Lee Manor from SUNY Purchase. The film, whose title means “housefly” in Hebrew, follows a tennis player the night before a big match as he runs around his home trying to kill a fly. It’s a remarkably simple premise with almost no dialogue, but it’s executed to perfection using visual storytelling and physical comedy. In one particularly funny moment, the audience is led to believe the fly is dead, the main character grins widely into the camera; then, after a long pause, the fly continues buzzing and the protagonist takes off again in pursuit. “’Zvoov’ is incredible because it has one character for most of the film, which is so hard to do in a short film — so hard to do in any film — to make your audience care about one character without having talked about their background,” Pottinger commented.

The film is also supported by great technical elements. First and foremost, the sound design and special effects are impressive for a student film. The fly’s buzzing sound is sufficiently annoying, allowing the audience to empathize with the character, and the fly itself always looks convincing. The shots are well-lit and well-framed, and Manor finds different angles and close-ups to shoot within the one setting of the house. “Because there’s only one character most of the times, those shots could be really boring, but they’re never boring,” Pottinger said. “For a student film, that thing is crazy.

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