Scary tactic: Point Park University graduates create horror film recognized by Women In Film Pittsburgh

Inside this restaurant, there is food for thought.

A young woman, Jade, wakes up in the movie “Green Hat Diner” and begins to piece together her past grief with the help of a sinister waitress, Ariel.

Jade’s father has passed away. Ariel is also looking for a way out. Ariel’s plan is to switch places with Jade, who comes from a broken family and seeks to end the loss of her father.

Ariel hopes to keep Jade trapped in the restaurant, in her place, so that she can escape.

After that ? The 12-minute film’s Wednesday screening reveals it all.

“Green Hat Diner” will be recognized as the “Best of Pittsburgh” by the Women In Film Pittsburgh Short Film Festival. In addition, there will be a “Diversity Award” and “Best of the Fest” films will be awarded. Short films submitted from the United States, Canada, Israel, Afghanistan, Ireland, France and New Zealand will be screened.

Screenings will take place between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks. Tickets are $ 8 to $ 25.

The filmmakers of the “Green Hat Diner” warn that the work is graphic and can have triggering images.

The film was created as a senior thesis project for former graduates of Fine Arts Film Production at Point Park University, led by Professors Andrew Halasz and John Rice.

The team includes producer, co-director and co-writer Zoe Alexandra, originally from Mount Lebanon, who lives in the Strip District; co-director and co-writer Olivia Busby, of Ashland, Ohio; and editor-in-chief Nicole Kennedy of Plum.

Tucker B. Dutton of Wheeling, W.Va., was the cinematographer and Anthony Yoder of Waxhaw, NC, was a co-writer. Jordan Beltz, of Sarver, plays Jade, and Alysia Vastardis, of Orlando, Fla., Is Ariel.

Courtesy of Slow Drift Productions

Discuss a scene from the movie “Green Hat Diner” that was shot inside the Yak Diner at North Apollo.

The film was directed by Slow Drift Productions, an independent production company founded by Alexandra.

The film has been accepted at over 15 film festivals internationally. He won the “Best Student Horror Short” award at the Indie Short Fest and was selected by Point Park University to represent the film department at the Gyeonggi Festival in South Korea.

It debuted in 2020, but couldn’t be presented properly due to the pandemic. This is one of five such films made from this senior year.

Busby said the toughest part of the unusual senior year due to covid-19 was not being able to have a normal movie premiere.

“We were in the editing rooms working on the film when we heard that (actor) Tom Hanks had covid (in 2020),” Busby said. “We wanted to show our work and we had to organize a private screening with a limited number of people present. “

This movie was a huge collaborative process, Kennedy said.

“I learned a lot while working on this,” Kennedy said. “We talked about the things that move the story forward and cutting the parts that didn’t. We were aware of everyone’s thoughts on what to keep and what to cut. We all want this movie to be successful.

Film Pittsburgh, which features four international film festivals, is passionate about providing a forum for Pittsburgh and other filmmakers in the region to showcase their work, said Kathryn Spitz Cohan, executive director of the organization.

“’Green Hat Diner’ fits perfectly into a ‘Thrills and Chills’ block at last year’s Pittsburgh Shorts, and we’re excited to see it continue to be recognized,” said Spitz Cohan. “For a filmmaker, every time he has the opportunity to show his film in front of an audience, it is a pleasure and a learning experience. It is also a validation of their work when festivals around the world notice it.


Courtesy of Slow Drift Productions

The movie “Green Hat Diner” was shot inside the Yak Diner at North Apollo

The film was shot overnight for six days at the Yak Diner in North Apollo. The location has been turned into purgatory – a space some believe to exist before reaching heaven.

The owners of the restaurant were kind enough to authorize the filming, Alexandra said.

The name comes from a previous psychological movie called “Luna,” written by Point Park graduate Tyler AM, Parkersburg, W.Va., about a man who lost his life to drugs.

The next goal of the “Green Hat Diner” team is to produce videos for women-owned businesses to showcase their talents, she said.

“To be able to accept this award from a leading film organization in Pittsburgh is a great honor,” said Alexandra. “It’s going to be a special night.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is the editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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