A makeup artist prepares Jasmine for a scene in "The Urchin" filmed in JCU's Aula Magna
As movie aficionados know, making a film is always a challenge. To make her first short film, Communications major Jasmine Manari not only managed to convince 22 people to work for free and persuaded the offices of the JCU President, the Academic Dean, and Student Services to support her project, she even got to use a space in Rome's contemporary art museum MACRO.
"I am so grateful to have had the help and support of so many wonderful people at JCU, from Beatrice Nanni in Student Services to Vice President and Dean of Academics Mary Merva, to JCU President Franco Pavoncello himself," says Jasmine.
Actually, judging from the passion and enthusiasm that shine through whenever she talks about it, it's no wonder she succeeded. "My film, entitled The Urchin, is based on the idea that youth is not a season in life, but a mental dimension, a state of mind. It's my interpretation of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan and it definitely represents a part of my adolescence. There's very little dialogue, it's almost a silent movie whose simple message can be understood with very few words."
Jasmine, who studied theater in her hometown of Pescara in the Italian region of Abruzzo, also wrote the screenplay and acted in the film. She chose John Cabot University with a precise goal in mind: "I want to be a film director and I hope to study in the United States some day. JCU was the perfect solution for me since it's an American university in Rome, with an international student body and exchange programs with many excellent schools in the United States."
Jasmine could rely on the help and support of Professor Federica Capoferri throughout the process. “Professor Capoferri inspired me in her Cinematic Rome course and was generous with suggestions from the start,” explains Jasmine.
"I was very impressed by Jasmine's talent and determination both as a student and as an aspiring director," says Professor Capoferri. "It was a pleasure for me to encourage Jasmine and watch her project develop. As professors, it is our job to help students thrive."
Outside of JCU, Jasmine's contagious energy won over film professionals such British director and producer Stefano Ferrara. "Stefano gave me excellent advice and helped me find ways to make the film with practically no budget! I was also able to count on a production designer, voice over artist and painter, who gave generously of their time and expertise to help me."
Jasmine recently submitted The Urchin to Italy's well known Giffoni Film Festival. The short will be presented at JCU in September and the JCU community can't wait to see it!
Jasmine Manari in another scene of "The Urchin"