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Catholic university shoots feature film

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ESCONDIDO — John Paul the Great Catholic University has completed production on “O, Brawling Love!”, the first project to emerge from its Feature Film Program.

It was filmed in Escondido, where the university is located, from June 2 to 28. More than 50 JPCatholic students, along with several alumni, were involved both on and off set.

Professor George Simon, chair of Communications Media, is spearheading JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program. He announced the initiative last year as a way to integrate feature film productions into the curriculum, providing students the opportunity to collaborate with alumni and professors each year in bringing a new film to life.

JPCatholic’s faculty selected “O, Brawling Love!” from a pool of nearly 50 student and alumni pitches. An original story by senior screenwriting student Bella Lake, the script is about two rival acting students who are forced to reconcile their differences and play lovers Romeo and Juliet in their final school play, vying for a $25,000 cash prize.

The film was directed by JPCatholic alumna Maggie Mahrt, whose resume includes work for Disney Digital, Paramount Studio and NBC.

With production complete, Professor Melinda Simon will lead a team of students this quarter in editing the project. Like previous stages of the film, the post-production experience is a class students are taking for credit. When the film is completed in late 2022 or early 2023, the university will seek distribution.

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