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September 2008 NEWSLETTER


The Greatest Films on Manhattan's Campus

The Greatest

Cameras rolled, spotlights beamed, and aspiring young starlets fell in love on the Quad as Manhattan's campus transformed into a movie set for a day on Aug. 18. The one-day, 14-hour shoot for the independent film The Greatest , which stars Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, brought nearly 60 crew members and 100 extras to campus for the 24th of 25 days of filming. The archway, classrooms in De La Salle and Miguel Halls and the third floor locker room in Alumni Hall were used for nine scenes.

“This [Manhattan College] is one of my favorite locations,” said Shana Feste, who began the screenplay during graduate school at the American Film Institute (AFI). “We were looking for this really beautiful place for these characters to fall in love and this is it.”

Indeed, the film's two main characters Bennett (Aaron Johnson) and Rose (Carey Mulligan) are high school students who begin dating during their senior year, only to be torn apart by a tragic car accident that leaves Bennett dead. Shortly after, Rose finds out she is pregnant and moves in with Bennett's parents played by Brosnan and Sarandon, both of whom were not present for the Manhattan shoot.

The Greatest marks Feste's directorial debut. After she graduated in 2004, she continued to work on the screenplay and, about a year ago, began the process of making it into a movie.

“The domestic drama, this genre, is difficult to get made,” said Feste, who sought actors to star in the production, as well as investors to provide financing because independent films lack studio distribution.

Despite the challenge, she persevered. A location scout contacted the College in late June to talk about shooting on he campus. In the next weeks, the details were finalized. The College also has been the site of filming for other movies. They include A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Six Degrees of Separation (1993).

According to Feste, 25 days of filming makes for long days but she has a September deadline to meet for The Greatest , whose next stop will be entry in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.


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