Students’ film sends powerful message
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 17:03
Loyola students Kirby Voss and Antonia Finizio are gaining national recognition for their independent film “Pain of the People,” chosen for official screening at Idyllwild Cinema Fest in January 2013.
Written and produced by Voss, English film and digital media senior, and former student Finizio, “Pain of the People” tells the story of Elle, a young woman who has suffered a lifetime of abuse. By the time the viewer meets Elle, she has been raped by her father and is at the nadir of an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Jeff.
Despite the dark subject matter of the film, Voss and Finizio’s inspiration was moving.
“The film is a love letter to a mutual friend of ours who has suffered abuse. The film is not based on a true story; it is fictional, but emotionally true,” Voss said.
Voss explained that the story was in his mind years ago, and that he had brought what he called a “not so good” first draft to Finizio at the beginning of the project. Voss attributes much of the film’s success to Finizio’s “hardcore” re-write.
For her part, Finizio’s previous experience has been with theater, so this was her first opportunity to branch out into film.
“I’ve always wanted to be a screenwriter,” Finizio said.
Voss, on the other hand, has been passionate about film his whole life, though “Pain” is his first feature film.
The sheer mechanics of the film’s production are nearly as impressive as Voss and Finizio’s handling of such dark subject matter. The entire film was shot inside one month and had an $8,000 budget, $6,000 of which went directly to a single camera and lens kit. The money was raised by the cast and crew either online or through selling bracelets with the film’s tagline, “You are not your past.” None of the 40 actors are receiving upfront payment, having agreed to do the film because they are passionate about the message it sends.
“‘Pain of the People’ was my first film and for that it will always be special in my heart,” lead actor and music industry freshman Michael Scott said.
Both Voss and Finizio have remained incredibly humble throughout this process. When asked about the media coverage the film is getting, each credited the other as the driving force behind the film’s success. Perhaps more powerful than the film itself is what Voss and Finizio claimed to have taken away from this whole process.
“Never trust what’s on the surface, you have to go deeper. People are crying out for help, but silently,” Voss said.
Voss was also thorough in educating himself about the systematic problem of sexual abuse, citing a Department of Justice statistic that shows incest, one type of abuse Elle endures in the film, to be the most common form of sexual abuse.
Finizio remarked that now that she has made this film and learned about issues of abuse, she isn’t just repulsed by it.
“Now I think more in terms of solutions,” she said.
Voss explained the overall message of the film.
“You are greater than your past and are defined by what you believe your future to be,” Voss said.
Olivia Burns can be reached at email@example.com