Headshot for alum Paul Kampf

School of Theatre and Dance alum Paul Kampf, M.F.A. ’95.

School of Theatre and Dance alum Paul Kampf, M.F.A. ’95, will return to Illinois State University with a screening of his new film Imprisoned, starring Laurence Fishburne, Juana Acosta, and Juan Pablo Raba. Filmed entirely in Puerto Rico just prior to Hurricane Maria, this “revenge thriller wrapped around the heart of a love story” will have its Chicago opening on September 27. Kampf has arranged a special advance screening for the Illinois State and Bloomington-Normal community on Thursday, September 26, at 3:30 p.m. at the Normal Theater. Admission is pay-what-you-can, with proceeds to benefit the School of Theatre and Dance. Kampf will hold a Q&A following the screening.

The film’s official website, theimprisonedmovie.com, describes the film as “a unique story set in Puerto Rico (that) centers on the themes of love, redemption, revenge and forgiveness.” Additional actors include Edward James Olmos, John Heard, Esai Morals, and Jon Huertas. Kampf wrote and directed the film, producing it though Equitas Entertainment Partners, whose mission is “to make a social impact, give a voice to the under-served while closing the gender pay gap in front of and behind the camera.”

Along with his M.F.A. in acting from Illinois State University, Kampf also holds a B.F.A. in acting/directing from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and a certificate in playwriting from the Royal Court Theatre in London. Speaking on his own experience as a student, Kampf states: “I spent three of the most important creative years of my early life as an acting student at Illinois State University. During that time, I started my own theater company (Breadline Theatre Group) and through the support of the faculty, was able to risk, fail, and at times thrive. Those three years gave me the craft and courage to move the company to Chicago and produce original work for a decade before transitioning into feature filmmaking. Coming back here to show this film and work with the students allows me to give back and also build a necessary bridge between the professional world and those in the same place I found myself over 25 years ago.”