Awake, a coming of age artistic exploration into the lives of a group of college juniors and seniors, will be screened at the Normal Theater at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, during the Local Filmmakers Showcase. The event is free and open to the public.

Written and directed by Matthew Colston, Awake takes realism and combines it with surrealism into one piece of art, taking the audience into the dreams, nightmares, and the realities of being a young adult in today’s society.

“This film has been made to serve as a reminder to any student out there who feels like they are alone or that no one understands them,” Colston said. “Because you’re not alone; everyone has their problems and you have the strength to overcome them.”

The film is the project of three undergraduate students who decided in spring 2016 to make a feature-length film produced entirely by Illinois State University students. Along with Colston, Eric McConnell and Michael Richards recruited friends and classmates to join the project. The film features close to 20 actors from the School of Theatre, and the work of two arts technology majors who were in charge of the sound design and the soundtrack, a graphic designer, and an illustrator.

2017 poster for Awake

The student film Awake will be screened on May 3 at 7 p.m. in the Normal Theater.

The film stars Spencer Brady, Emilia Dvorak, Taylor Eaves, Anastasia S. Ferguson, Sarah Ford, Graham Gusloff, Anthony Thomas Harden, Bree Haskell, Emmanuel K. Jackson, Timothy Jefferson, Gina Sanfilippo, Ryan Satterfeal, and Sarah Seidler with cinematography by McConnell and Richards.  

“ISU has a lot of great talent and there is a great deal of interest in film, but there are not many production classes or opportunities for students to make films. We wanted to help change that and possibly start a trend towards making independent student films at ISU,” said Colston.

A Q&A session with the filmmakers will follow the screenings.

Awake contains mature content and is not recommended for anyone under the age of 17.

This film is sponsored in part by grant from the Friends of the Arts.