Uni- Terra is an independent film written by Fredonia student Joseph Edwards, who also cast, directed, shot and edited the film, a lot for such a young filmmaker. It only took him three months to put this together and the movie was filmed on his very own campus, SUNY Fredonia. Edwards is a communication major with a minor in film studies.
The film had its first premiere in 101 Jewett Hall on Friday, Nov. 14. The cast, friends and Edwards’ parents showed up for the event.
“In the near future, a philosophical extra-terrestrial of an ancient, enlightened alien race is sent to assassinate an corrupt, insidious world leader of Earth’s newly-found utopian civilization, Uni-Terra,” said Edwards of the plot of the film.
The film genre is considered “fictional narrative, [and] political sci-fi.” Edwards went into detail about the meaning behind Uni-Terra, saying, “A government should not have too much power. It is important for people to understand their standings, but there is a lot of secrecy in our government.”
“Film production is what I want to do. I want to be an independent filmmaker,” Edwards said. “Ever since I saw my first PG-13 film, Castaway, I was interested with how everything worked. Everyone watches the film for itself, but they do not understand how much work goes behind the camera.”
Edwards was involved with BOCES at his high school, where he picked up the basic skills for radio, audio and television. Edwards also has been a writer for a long time, and he said that has helped him become more interested in script writing.
The premiere of the film had a great atmosphere, and everyone in the audience saw the passion that Edwards has for his films and how thankful he was that everyone showed up to the event. He greeted everyone who came into the lecture hall with a smile, handshake or even a hug.
Uni-Terra is an impressive film that was made in just a short amount of time. It has a perfect amount of action, special effects, in-depth meaning and humor. The film starred Charles Scheffler, Samantha Ploetz and Drew Smith. Scheffler played Sinatra, an alien that is sent to assassinate Godric Walton (Smith) for his overly empowered government. Quinn Maverick (Ploetz) is one of Walton’s best wingmen, and is sent to exterminate the threat known as Sinatra. However, Sinatra soon convinces Maverick to help him overthrow the corrupt government and to expose Walton for the evils that he is committing in Uni-Terra. Edwards’ girlfriend, Richelle Dalaba, even made an appearance in the film as one of Walton’s bodyguards.
The film received loud applause from the audience, and actors cheered each other on as their names appeared in the credits.
“I loved watching him grow up and seeing his films. It was great,” Edwards’ father said.
“Being in Joseph’s film was a learning experience for me. This was the first film that I have ever been cast in. I have been cast in multiple roles in musicals and plays throughout the past few years, but the intense feeling of being in front of a camera is very different and pretty scary,” Ploetz said. “There were some ups and downs while filming, which made it even scarier to be in front of the camera, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I feel as though this experience has made me grow as an actor.”
Uni- Terra has been entered into a handful of film festivals, including The SUNY Wide Film Festival and The Boonies International Film Festival.