Cabrini University senior Tony Pietrewicz won the Fan Favorite award at Shorty’s Short Film Contest during Colonial Theatre’s annual Blobfest in July. Blobfest celebrates the Theatre’s cameo in the 1958 horror film, “The Blob.”
Pietrewicz and his friends did not intend to enter the competition. They enjoyed their time at Blobfest in 2019, as fans of the festival, and chose to return in July 2022. Pietrewicz explains that they saw Colonial Theatre’s advertisement for film submissions when they were buying their tickets and agreed to compete for the first time.
“This is the perfect opportunity I had to show off my skills and to get something out of it,” Pietrewicz said. The film industry is not his career focus, but he viewed the festival as an outlet for his creativity.
Creating the film
“The Pintendo Swap From Outer Space,” follows a pair of friends who receive a possessed gaming console from a terrified man on the street. After playing the game later that night, one friend suffers the fatal consequences of accepting the console, and the other friend escapes.
Pietrewicz and his friends’ goal was to create a three-minute family-friendly science fiction film. Their deadline was June 23, 2022. Pietrewicz helped to write the script, recorded it while his friends performed, and edited the final piece.
He shot the film in one night, then spent two weeks editing. Pietrewicz and his friends considered reshooting some scenes, but the deadline was inching closer. Reflecting on the experience, Pietrewicz wishes he was allotted more than three minutes so he could include more alienlike sequences. The time limit forced them to pick the best plot points.
Pietrewicz was absent when the winners of the film contest were announced. He found out that he won through Instagram.
Pietrewicz and his friends drove to Phoenixville on Saturday to collect their trophy. The Theatre rewarded them with free tickets to the weekend street festival. They enjoyed the community games and colorful tents lining the street.
“We felt like royalty,” he said. Their film was shown on a loop with the other winning films.
A safe community for filmmakers
“It was a really great short film,” Drew Boardman, Colonial Theatre events and engagement manager said . Boardman encourages Pietrewicz to submit another film next year.
“I would say the best part about the Shorty’s Short Film Contest is it’s a lot of people who really love film, and love to do it as passion projects,” Boardman said.
Boardman passionately explained the voting process for the contest while wearing a Blobfest t-shirt. Colonial Theatre votes for the best film in each category. Pietrewicz’s film was selected with input from Phoenixville community members and Colonial Theatre.
“This is my first award for something creative like this, so it was exciting to actually put my talents to work, and put my friends’ talents to work and make something that we could be proud of,” Pietrewicz said. Blobfest fulfilled Pietrewicz’s hope to express his creativity and uplift his friends.
Blobfest strives to create a safe place for filmmakers to express themselves. Pietrewicz is grateful to have had this opportunity.