With the end of the semester coming up quickly, students are putting final touches on big projects and assignments. No exception to this is Patrick Frey, a junior film production major, who is finishing up his student film, “My Land.”
“My Land” follows New Jacob, a social recluse, living in complete seclusion in the desert. His life seems set until someone from the Department of Homeland Security comes and tells him that his land is right in the middle of their construction path and he is going to have to move. The film sees the two struggle with this conflict and what to do about it.
Although Frey’s film is entirely fictional, a CNN article was published detailing the different ways the border fences being built along the U.S.-Mexico border, also known as Trump’s wall, are affecting the residents who live along the construction path, shortly after he started writing his script.
“‘My Land’ is a short film dealing with the concept of what home really is,” Frey said. “It’s this struggle of two people clashing on their different ideas of this and how they go about dealing with it.”
Frey said it was a coincidence that his script matched so closely with the happenings discussed in the CNN article.
“I had already developed the idea and had a final draft of the script when my professor sent me the link to (the article),” Frey said. “I read more into it, and it was so much more in-depth and pretty much the same concept that I had come up with.”
Except that it was real life.
“To me, ‘My Land’ is more about the humanistic relationship of what it means to be a person,” Frey said. “What matters to you and what does that mean for others?”
One of Frey’s reasons for creating a short narrative film that addresses such a difficult and present topic was to use art as a way to make people feel something. Frey said his political views aren’t in the film and his ultimate goal isn’t to make a political statement.
“I just wanted to make something that added some curiosity in the audience’s life,” Frey said. “It’s not a happy ending, but it ends in an understanding of fundamental human respect. I want people to come out of it feeling a little bit softer.”
Matthew Tokuno, who is a junior at California State University, Los Angeles, helped Frey in the early stages of the script and is one of the camera operators for the upcoming film.
“It’s really exciting to see someone with this much knowledge and drive working so hard on something. It’s always a pleasure,” Tokuno said. “To see him this invested and happy makes it so much more exciting.”
Frey acknowledges that he has a bit of an ambitious goal for a five to seven-minute film. Frey started filming April 16.
“This is sort of my last big chance to do something and I wanted to put 120 percent into it so that when it came out I knew it was my best work,” Frey said.
In this political climate, Frey emphasized the importance of everybody having a voice and speaking up for what they believe in, mentioning the instance when Alec Harrington, a sophomore political science major, hung an “All Lives Matter” sign over the Pan-African flag outside of the Leatherby Libraries on Feb. 9.
“While the action of that sign was disrespectful, it was refreshing to see constructive dialogue come out of it,” Frey said. “It began a conversation.”
In Frey’s mind, being a film student doesn’t make him any more qualified than others to create a project like this.
“If you want to make movies or anything at all, just go out and get people to listen,” Frey said. “There is so much going on in the world, and someone somewhere is making a movie about it.”