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Posted: Saturday, February 05, 2011


Short by Acting-A-Part students will be screened April 3, By Fran Hardy
Sparta — Students of Sparta’s Advanced Film Extreme class are preparing for their red-carpet moment.
They acted in an original film selected to be shown at the upcoming Garden State Film Festival. Their teacher, Joshua Nelson, wrote the short film, “Very Different Times,” for his student-actors, and he also directs. The film will be screened at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 3, at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.
The film tells the story of an aging detective who must unravel the murder of a teenage girl. The cast features Kyle Bradley (who also did the sound for the film), Lauren Cabanas, Ingrid DeLisa, Amanda Iannuzzi, Michelle Michaels, Ernest Romeo, and Brittany Russo. Cinematography and film editing were by Kevin Harrington.
Erika Lupo, owner and director of the Acting-A-Part studio, produced the film.
“I am so proud of our students’ accomplishment,” she said. “Their hard work is being rewarded.”
Lupo said Film Extreme students are involved in the total process of making a movie. They gain hands-on experience, from the conception of an original screenplay through post-production and the film premiere.
This premiere will be a bigger deal than usual. Lupo said she submitted the film to the Garden State Film Festival because she believed it was good enough — but she was still surprised and thrilled to receive word that it was accepted.
The 29-minute film was chosen as part of the Home Grown High School Student Short category.
“What really made this film come together was the strength of all these young actresses,” Nelson said. “Being young and relatively inexperienced didn’t stop them from delivering strong, top-notch performances. The cast’s talent really gave life to the script.”
Nelson brought his many years of experience in film, television, and theater to the class, calling on his skills in acting, directing, as well as writing for both stage and screen.
Lupo said she was pleased to have Nelson teach Film Extreme and proud of what they achieved together.
“It started with a concept and a group of very talented students who had a remarkable collaborative spirit, which created and brought to life a memorable movie,” she said.
Lupo regularly schedules a variety of industry professionals to teach classes at Acting-A-Part. A veteran theater teacher and director with the Ramsey and Maplewood New Jersey school districts, Lupo now operates Acting-A-Part studios in Sparta and Ridgewood. A new location will open soon in Morristown. Her programs also include Angels-A-Part acting and theater classes for children and adults with disabilities.
A new Film Extreme class, which is offered every ten weeks, will begin on April 11. For more information call 973-879-3651 or 973-729-6434, or visit

About the festival
The ninth annual Garden State Film Festival will take place March 31 through April 3. Its mission is “to promote the art of filmmaking on all levels by showcasing a wide variety of film, video and animated works as well as provide educational programs in the creative arts to the public by industry leaders,” according to its Web site.
Films will be shown at various locations in Asbury Park, including the Paramount Theatre, The Berkley Oceanfront Hotel, Asbury Park City Council Chambers, Chico’s House of Jazz, and Synaxis at the Shore. Some films will also be shown at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal Park.
The festival also features seminars, panel discussions, and special events like a benefit night, a gala cocktail party, and an awards dinner. Several special guests from film, television, and Broadway will also make presentations.
For more information about the festival, visit or call 1-887-908-7050.