NSU student filmmakers will host premier of documentary May 1

Students in Northwestern State University’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts present the live world premiere of their documentary “MARCH 2020” on Friday, May 1 on YouTube at 6:30 p.m. 

Described as “One semester. Five college students. Nowhere to go,” the short film by NSU’s Sadie LeCompte of Natchitoches, Savannah Stevens of Bossier City, Olivia Noonan, of Shreveport, Madison Morrison of Hineston and Caleb Rhodes of Deville documents life abruptly changing when the reality of COVID-19 hits NSU and Louisiana.

Under the direction of their professor, Melody Gilbert, the students chronicle the weeks following NSU’s decision to move all classes online, sending thousands of them home to isolation or quarantine.

“All our lives dramatically changed in a little over a month this spring,” said Gilbert. “One minute they were working on their documentary video projects, the next they were heading home. As their world was turned upside down, like the rest of us, they learned to deal with a new reality.”

The student filmmakers turned to their loved ones to discuss relationships, resiliency, philosophy and self-acceptance during a life-changing time. Viewers meet Olivia’s grandma, Caleb’s sister, Savannah’s boyfriend and Madison’s father to hear how they cope with something they can’t control. At the same time, Sadie reveals a secret that didn’t go as planned. 

The filmmakers look for answers to life’s big questions during a time when they might not be found all the while working under less than ideal circumstances.

“I know how difficult it has been for these students personally and emotionally to complete their video work during the pandemic. This effort should be commended,” said Dr. Brian Gabrial, New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts interim department head

 Gilbert and her students will be online to answer questions about the film during the live screening and the film will be available on the website to view after the live event.

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