On Death and Innocence: Film Grad’s Short Goes to Woodstock Film Festival

Congratulations to five Full Sail grads, whose short film The Earth, the Way I Left It is an official selection in the 14th Annual Woodstock Film Festival. The festival takes place Oct. 2-16 in the Hudson Valley Catskills.

The film crew is from the same 2009 graduating class and includes four graduates of the Film Bachelor of Science degree program and one graduate from the Digital Arts & Design Bachelor of Science degree program. They are: Jeff Pinilla (director/co-writer), Justin Simpson (director of photography), Matthew Pourviseh (producer/co-writer), Chadwick Williams (associate producer), and Mark Koenov (visual effects).

Pinilla, 24, co-wrote and directed the film, which examines the idea of how a child might use her imagination to cope with death and loss.

“What was most fascinating to me was the ability to explore a perspective that people don’t really think about,” says Pinilla. “We all used to be children at some point, and we saw the world in such a different way. To us, everything was so innocent and good and our outlook was so bright. I wanted to [introduce] a terrifying reality that we all deal with on a regular basis and explore it through the eyes of how we used to see the world.”

To do this, Pinilla and his crew kept the camera below eye level and created a landscape of artificial snow to evoke innocence. The film was also shot partially on Super 8mm film to give it a nostalgic feel.

Pinilla, who graduated in 2009, has won 6 Promax GOLD awards and three Emmys for his work in broadcasting and advertising. He has been nominated for 11 Emmys. Pinilla’s first short, Numbers on a Napkin, was featured at several film festivals, including HBO’s International Latino Film Festival.