While the graduating class of 2020 faces a lot of uncertainty, one UCI senior will be leaping into his future career with some extraordinary accomplishments under his belt. Film & media studies student Anthony Kalmeta has seen astounding success with his short film, “Overcast.”
Mysterious and thrilling, “Overcast” follows a 13-year-old boy whose mom disappears, plunging him into doubt about his father and his own memories. The very nature of the film breaks the preconceived boundaries of genre.
“It seems to start as a family drama, but it also has these horrifying, almost supernatural elements that turn it into a thriller. In a way we’re blending genres, but you barely even notice because it gradually shifts over the course of the film,” Kalmeta said.
While balancing his workload as a full-time film student, Kalmeta impressively managed to serve as the director, writer and executive producer for “Overcast.” The rest of the creative team was composed almost entirely of UCI students or alumni. Kalmeta specifically noted his gratitude for not just the actors, but also for producers Michelle Fredericks and Duncan Smythe, as well as for Isaiah Walk, the director of photography. As he put it, the film was “a collective effort.”
After working with Fredericks and Smythe on a project for FADA, UCI’s Film Arts Drama Alliance, Kalmeta decided to approach them with the script for “Overcast,” suggesting they produce it together as an independent project. This dream team currently has another short film in pre-production, “Echoes,” which is the story of a man lost in the fabric of time, searching for a human connection and afraid of what he might find.
Despite the fact that he’s graduating this spring, Kalmeta has no intention of leaving behind this team of filmmakers and wouldn’t want to work on “Echoes” with anyone else.
“I think that’s one of the best parts about being a filmmaker at UCI, there’s this great community, with people who’re really passionate about making things happen. Those connections that you make here should continue after college,” Kalmeta said.
An incredible amount of time, effort and passion went into this project; judging by the film’s reception, it all paid off. “Overcast” won a Remi Award in the category of “Best Long Short Film” at WorldFest Houston. Additionally, Connor Falk, the film’s star, won a Platinum Award for “Best Child Actor” at the Independent Short Film Awards, where “Overcast” also won an honorable mention for “Best Indie Film.”
Due to COVID-19, the postponement of all film festivals has delayed the “Overcast” premiere. It will eventually be uploaded to Vimeo, and possibly released on other streaming services as well. However, Kalmeta understandably hoped for a big festival viewing, explaining, “we’d love for it to actually be seen in front of a physical audience before we put it online.” Its release date remains uncertain for the time being, but that won’t keep Kalmeta down since this is merely a starting point for him to launch off from.
When asked about his post-graduation plans, Kalmeta responded, “I really want to continue making films, and use the films I made in university to help leverage future films.”
His undeniable passion for the art of filmmaking is evident as he describes his goals in the industry: “it doesn’t matter whether I’m a director, or an assistant director or something else. The point is, this is something I want to do ultimately, and what I will continue to push for, and the next step is just to find my audience. That’s really all any filmmaker wants, just to find an audience that appreciates what they’re doing.”
Despite all the uncertainty looming in the air right now, Kalmeta and his team can at least rest assured that they’re graduating with exceptional filmmaking skills, an award-winning short film, and a lifelong connection to the creative and passionate UCI community.
Rachel Golkin is an Entertainment Intern for the 2020 spring quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to the “Overcast” IMDb page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10805966/
Link to the “Overcast”website: https://www.virtualcelluloid.com/
Link to the “Overcast” trailer: https://vimeo.com/383337846