Film students win national acclaim

Recently, two University of Miami students were named finalists in the MTVU Best Film on Campus competition. Open to college students nationwide, both Katherine Martin and Matt Jespersen represented the Hurricanes in grand style as they finished among the top 10. Each young filmmaker submitted a five-minute short film after School of Communication professor Ed Talavera informed his students of the contest.

Martin, who grew up outside of Sacramento, Calif., began studying film at UM after spending four years traveling the world. She has a background in theater and confesses to once underestimating the potential film has as a dramatic medium. After working for a production company, however, Martin decided to go back to school and give filmmaking a chance. Her journey brought her to Miami, a place she adores and cites as being “very cosmopolitan.” Since embarking on an education in film, Martin has learned to view the medium as “a dream that she has the power to mold in any direction she sees fit.” Her acclaimed short film tells the tale of a vengeful frog that stalks a girl who stepped on and killed his brother. Mr. Frog’s persistence pays off as he eventually drives the young girl insane through guilt and fear. No frogs were actually harmed in the making of this film, but you’ll sure laugh like some were. Martin is a pleasant young talent who aspires to make documentaries, commercials and music videos.

Jespersen grew up in Sunnyvale, Calif. He was initially an English major at BYU and discovered his passion for film after enrolling in a screenwriting class. His first 40-page script led to the inking of a feature-length script, and Matt is now honing his craft as a filmmaker at UM. His film, Jeremy and Chad vs. Von Einbrechtstein, highlights a battle between the aforementioned college friends and their evil German nemesis. When the fight begins, hilarity ensues. One side must prevail however, and I assure you the ending twist will lead to the credits. Jespersen aspires to write and direct his own movies. After giving Hollywood a go, he would also love to share his love for cinema as a college professor.

These two filmmakers certainly warrant the buzz their short films created in the MTVU contest. Be sure and remember their names, and watch for future projects. For more information on the MTVU Best Film on Campus contest, check out

John Heslin can be reached at