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SOMA

South Orange Maplewood Film Festival & Communication and the Arts  

SOMA Film Festival
March 9 - March 12
Seton Hall University Block: Sunday, March 12, Noon - 2pm
Communication and the Arts' student Katherine Rivera and SOMA Founder Matthew Smollon.

Communication and the Arts’ student Katherine Rivera and SOMA Founder Matthew Smollon.

The South Orange Maplewood Film Festival (SOMA) is a professional film festival founded and directed by Matt Smollon. The festival features the work of independent filmmakers, including shorts, documentaries and narrative films. SOMA will enter its 2nd year with a four-day event showcasing films from around the world. This year, the College of Communication and the Arts will be hosting a 2-hour block dedicated to Seton Hall films - from current students in the Visual and Sound Media program, alumni and faculty. This exclusive Seton Hall session will give multiple students and alumni exposure to audiences and industry professionals.

After the extraordinary interest in and success of the inaugural festival in 2016, SOMA has expanded the schedule this year to include more days, and more viewing locations. The festival will show films and hold sessions in SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center) and Maplewood Theatre.  The festival will continue to show independent shorts and documentaries - this year adding in a local filmmakers program, a kids and family program, and a screenwriting competition.  Additionally, the upcoming schedule will include behind-the-scene events for filmmakers like meet-and-greets and Q&A sessions.

Student Experience

The College is proud of the ongoing partnership with SOMA. Communication and the Arts' students are provided a direct line to the professional world of festivals, filmmaking, producing and even distribution in the film business. In 2016, then undergraduate student Matthew Borello submitted one of his films to SOMA - his first ever film festival - and was so inspired by the experience and encouragement that he went on to submit that same film, "Dinner Time," to the Hollywood Boulevard Festival. "Dinner Time" went on to win the award Best Dramedy (Drama/Comedy) Short Film in the student category.  SOMA affords students opportunities to work behind the scenes as well - several students have interned for the festival, learning the ins and outs of marketing, social media engagement and public relations.

Associate Dean Thomas Rondinella participates in Q&A session with SOMA Founder Matthew Smollon.Associate Dean Thomas Rondinella participates in Q&A session with SOMA Founder Matthew Smollon.

Faculty Mentors

College of Communication and the Arts film faculty and administrators alike are enthused to continue this partnership with SOMA. Associate Dean Thomas Rondinella and Faculty Associate of Digital Media Production William Pace are no strangers to filmmaking and producing - both having had their share of films accepted and widely distributed. Most recently, the two teamed up to work on a comedy short. "Pezzavonante" (Big Shot), was produced by Rondinella and edited by Pace. "Pezzavonante" won Best Comedy Short at the Chandler International Film Festival in Chandler in Arizona- December, 2016. For more about SOMA, visit www.SOMAfilmfestival.com

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