Student teams from four area colleges, including Burlington College, University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College and Middlebury College competed in the Sleepless in Burlington, a 24-hour film competition by the Vermont International Film Festival. Team Burlington College won Best Film for their movie “Watcher,” and Johannes Ziegler won the Best Actor Award for his leading role in the film.
"We sat down together at the school and began throwing out random ideas for the story. After spending a half an hour on it, we put everyone’s ideas together and came up with a character that had become desensitized from ingesting media his whole life. After a few hours we had put together a story in which this character is forced to experience the real world and finds that television has warped their view on everything," said Kyle Freund, the the Co-Writer and Key Grip.
“’Watcher’ won because it managed to be both technically and thematically sophisticated. From the start, the students were adamant about exploring the theme of the effects of media saturation. The focus on a specific message and their dedication to portraying it with a high level of cinematic craft made the film stand out,” said Michael Fisher, Team Advisor.
Team Burlington College included, David Littlefield as the Producer and Assistant Director; Alex Mackowiak as the Director; Joe Mulherin as the Director of Photography and Editor; Kyle Freund as the Co-Writer and Key Grip; Will Hoffinger as a Writer and Production Assistant; Michael Fisher as the Team Advisor.
“The most challenging thing was keeping to our shooting schedule, because of the amount of different shots and locations we had set up. Luckily we had Dave keeping us on track with that,” said Alex Mackowiak, the Director and Camera Assistant.