Street:  Heard you’re doing something cool this summer!  What are you doing? AF:  Immersing myself in the world of cinema!  And for the first time, I’m not referring to binge watching Netflix… although, admittedly, Netflix still does take up a good portion of my time.  This summer, I attended the 67th Cannes Film Festival with the amazing Penn-in-Cannes program.  After briefly stopping in Philly to repack my bags, I shipped out to Los Angeles.  I am currently interning at two separate companies: Allison Shearmur Productions and Menemsha Films.

Street:  You must be quite the movie buff!  What kind of work did you do during the Penn-in-Cannes program? AF:  We had different writing assignments to complete throughout the program; however, the bulk of the “work” was attending screenings and logging our daily activities in a journal.  I saw 35 films in two weeks and ate close to 35 cups of Speculoos ice cream.

Street: What was your favorite movie from the festival and why? AF:  That’s such a hard question!  One of my favorites was a Greek film, Xenia.  I took CLST 100 (Greek and Roman Mythology) this past Spring and was able to understand a lot of the mythological references.  The director, Panos Koutras, applied comedic elements and a vibrantly experimental aesthetic to an otherwise tragic tale. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Street:  What are your specific roles and tasks at Allison Shearmur Productions and Menemsha Films? AF:  I am a TV/Film Development Intern for Allison Shearmur Productions, where I read and write coverage on everything from short stories to feature length scripts.   At Menemsha, I work as a Film Marketing Intern.   I am currently helping to market a fascinating documentary, The Outrageous Sophie Tucker.

Street:  Where are you staying in L.A.? AF:  I’m living in an apartment in Westwood.  It’s right off of UCLA’s campus.  It’s only rained once since I’ve moved here, which is both delightful and somewhat alarming.  I have three awesome random roomies that are super chill.  It’s been easy living, except for the week and half where the Wi-Fi was down.

Street: As a Philly local, have you noticed any major differences between living on the West Coast and on the East Coast? AF:  Aside from the no rain and humidity?  Hmmm.  I guess the main difference would have to be the overall topography.  While East Coast cities are pretty much composed of flat land and skyscrapers, it’s been both strange and beautiful being around a skyline that’s also filled with palm trees and mountains.

Street:  What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far? AF:  I guess the coolest thing has been the opportunity to experience the modern equivalent to what the cinema-crazy culture of the early 20th century must have been like. When I was in Cannes, I was able to attend several world-premieres. It was a surreal being one of thousands of formally dressed attendees applauding the cast in the Lumière movie palace. And living in LA has been the icing on the cake. There are always Q&A’s, lectures, and screenings featuring some of the industry’s most prestigious individuals.

Street:  What are you hoping to take away from this summer of cinema? AF:   Though this has been an educational action-packed summer, it will definitely leave me impacted for much longer.  Most importantly, I hope to contribute to and inspire further growth in the film community at Penn.  I also hope to have completed the next step in learning what a career in film entails.

Street:  So you see yourself working in the world of cinema in the future? AF:  Most definitely!

Street:  Cool!  Last – and most important – question:  how many selfies have you taken with celebs this summer?? AF:  (Laughs) Not as many as you’d think.  The day I moved to L.A., I met Robert Pattinson on the way to the grocery store.  He was super nice, and he offered to take the selfie of us!  That’s technically the only selfie I have.  There’s sort of an unspoken pact in L.A. where you let the celebs carry on without hustling them for pictures.  That’s why I’ve stooped to the level of taking my own stealth paparazzo pics. I’ve got everything from Rosario Dawson on the beach to David Spade at the mall.


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