Three film festivals have accepted a short film produced by a student-faculty team made up of Abhineet Kumar ’17 of Mumbai, India, and Professor of Humanities Craig Greenman.
So far, “Solipsism” has been accepted by the SNOB (Somewhat North Of Boston) Film Festival’s Indie Fest in Concord, N.H., and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival in Pune, India. The Oasis Short Film Festival not only accepted the film but selected it as its October Film of the Month.
Solipsism is an idea in philosophy that contends an individual’s own mind is the only thing one can know or be sure exists. The film opens with Professor Greenman playing a professor teaching philosophy to an empty classroom until a student, played by Xiaoxiao Lu ’16 of Guangzhou, China, disrupts his routine.
The 10-minute film was shot in two days, with scenes set in Colgate Hall and at Professor Greenman’s home in Concord, N.H.
Kumar and Professor Greenman worked closely to create the film. Conversations with Kumar motivated Professor Greenman to write a dialogue-heavy screenplay, and the two continued to collaborate throughout the filmmaking process.
Kumar, a media and communications major, has created several other short films and videos while at Colby-Sawyer, and he guided much of the visual style of the film as its cinematographer and director.
“What was most striking for me,” said Professor Greenman, “is how much I had to trust Kumar. It’s both a little disarming and really neat to trust somebody else to do the work they can do, and for you to do the work you can do.”
Professor Greenman, who teaches philosophy, was new to the filmmaking process, but he contributed editing suggestions and selected the film’s soundtrack. In fact, Dan Kowalski, Festival Registrar of the Oasis Film Festival, cited the film’s use of music to structure the narrative as a highlight of “Solipsism.”
Kumar and Professor Greenman hosted a film screening and discussion last month for the campus community cosponsored by the Cultural Events Committee, the Teaching Enrichment Center, and the college’s film club, of which Kumar is president.
The team plans to continue to submit the film to more festivals, and Kumar is writing, directing and shooting a short film for his senior Capstone project. He is applying to graduate film programs across the country.
Watch “Solipsism” at International Movie Database.