Tompkins Cortland Student Selected for SUNYWide Film Festival
April 7, 2016
A documentary film by Tompkins Cortland Community College student Chad Dann was selected for screening at the SUNYWide Film Festival and was named the Audience Choice winner. Dann was one of only three community college students chosen for screening at the festival, which ran April 8 and 9 at SUNY Oswego. The festival received over 190 submissions of films made by students at schools within the State University of New York (SUNY) system. A total of 35 were chosen for screening, including just eight documentaries.
Dann’s film is titled One Love: The Eric Tallman Story and focuses on the victim of a 2002 murder in Cortland County. Dann chose the topic because his fiancé was a close friend of Tallman and his family. “I always heard great things about Eric. I wanted to tell his story and show how much he impacted the lives around him,” said Dann, who intertwined some of Tallman’s own home video with interviews of friends and family, including Tallman's now-teenage daughter.
Dann made the film while a student in the class COMM240: Non-Fiction and Fiction Field Production, taught by adjunct instructor Gary Reinbolt. He says the influence of the faculty at the College, including Reinbolt, Chris Xaver, Lisa Ford, Kyle Carr, Jeff Lower, and Melanie Arnold, helped convince him the documentary was ready to share publicly. “I entered the SUNYWide Film Festival because I wanted Eric's story to reach a bigger audience,” said Dann. “After receiving positive feedback from family, friends, and colleagues, I felt confident enough to submit the documentary to the festival.”
The SUNYWide Film Festival, co-sponsored by SUNY Stony Brook, is in its seventh year. Dann is the first Tompkins Cortland student selected to screen at the festival.
The Cortland resident recently started his own video production company. He will graduate from the College with a digital cinema degree in May.