F&MAD Film Festival Winner Shows Works Around the World

January 29 2018

By Adam Griffiths

Graduate Film Studies student Angela Rosales Challis was the winner of the 7th annual Film Arts & Media Department Film Festival. She was one of 14 who entered the festival and her film “Camminatore” won the Jury’s Choice award. The film has since been shown at more than 15 festivals around the world, including in Greece, Scotland, Argentina, and Bolivia. U of U students and faculty also viewed it at this year’s Distinguished Alumni Ceremony.

“Camminatore” is a beautiful short film featuring native Italians telling of a journey through dance. It was filmed in Genova, Italy, where Angela joined other film students on a 5-week study abroad program. Camminatore translated means, “The one that walks.” Angela got the inspiration for this film from a Cuban man who immigrated to Italy. He told her that ever since he was a child he felt a need to walk and to go somewhere. Every day he would say, “I want to go further,” until he finally arrived in Genova and felt that he didn’t need to “walk anymore.” The cinematography takes the viewers to a variety of locations; some ornate and extravagant, and others more simple. Angela said, “Every place we go, there’s something that stays with us. These are the memories of all the places he (the dancer) has been and what he’s learned.” She was fortunate to see Francesco Gerbi, the main dancer, perform at a festival in Italy. She was impressed by his technique and performance. She approached him and asked if he would be in her film, to which he happily obliged.

Angela said of filmmaking, “I want to make films that are not just entertaining, but that say something.” She created one film with dolls to address issues of Body Dysmorphia, a condition where a person perceives their body as flawed, regardless of their actual beauty. This film is narrated by her children and is a message to her sister-in-law who suffers from this condition. Another film called “Undesirables” shows a homeless brother and sister trying to survive on the streets of Brazil. This film is all done with hand-drawn illustrations, thanks to the help of an art student, Vicky Sears. The film progresses to the two characters being shot in the street by the police, followed by the text: “In 2005, 492 street kids were murdered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The death squads ‘clean up’ the city and kill the undesirables. This is still happening today.” Angela said when she was illustrating the blood, she had a moment of panic and wondered if this would be too graphic to make, but decided to go forward with it. She said, “I hate violence, but this story needed to be told to open people’s eyes.”

Angela knows that she wouldn’t be able to produce the caliber of art that she does without help from family, friends, and colleagues. On most of her videos you will find the names of her husband and kids, and she always works with quality production staff. For Camminatore, she collaborated with Conor Long on Cinematography, Hanna Weber as Editor, Aaron Moura on Music, and Eduardo Soares on Color Correction. Angela is also grateful for the tremendous support that she has received from the University of Utah film department’s faculty and staff.

Angela has received numerous awards and honors for her films. In addition to filmmaking, Angela hopes someday to be able to teach at a university. “I love to see the spark in people as a result of learning.”