still from the student documentary “Marley’s Journey.”Three-year-old Marley Bechard is the subject of the student documentary “Marley’s Journey.”

Student film project in consideration for national award

A film project by five UWindsor students has been named a top-five finalist in a national competition.

Selina McCallum, Kassandra Coates, Gabriel Giuliani, Katherine Bryce, and Deborah Iluyemi will find out today whether a panel of industry professionals have selected Marley’s Journey for an Emerge Media Award, which showcase the talent of communications students from Canadian universities and colleges.

Several of the students have made the trip to Toronto for today’s awards ceremony.

“I am so proud of us and happy to represent the University of Windsor and the communication, media, and film program in a room full of well-known journalists, photographers and filmmakers,” says McCallum, who acted as director of photography and helped to edit the documentary.

The short film focuses on Marley Bechard, a three-year-old girl with the genetic disorder Angelman syndrome, which can cause intellectual disability, neurological problems, and seizures.

Director Coates says it’s “fantastic” to show the film to a larger audience.

“This project means so much to me since the Bechard family are good friends of mine,” she says. “Directing the film was amazing and challenging all at the same time. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

McCallum says the film has the potential to touch people who love someone with this condition.

“I am hoping that we win first or second place, but if we don’t, just knowing that we made the top five finalists in all of Canada is such a big accomplishment already,” she says.

Watch Marley’s Journey.