Thais Vitorelli and Jamie Rabinovitch, both students in The New School’s Documentary Media Studies Certificate Program and alumni of the MFA in Creative Writing Program (’17), were named semi-finalists for the Coca-Cola Regal Student Film Challenge. Their film, titled The Exchange, was featured in Regal Cinemas across the nation earlier this spring.
The New School was one of five schools nationwide with finalists in the 2019 contest and, as finalists, Vitorelli and Rabinovitch received $15,000 to produce their commercial, a 35-second short film written by Vitorelli. During the challenge, Vitorelli and Rabinovitch were flown to Los Angeles where they met with executives from Coke and Regal, and joined this year’s other finalists for a briefing on both brands and an orientation on creating their films.
Vitorelli, the film’s director and writer, said she wrote the script during her time with the Creative Writing program, but needed the technical skills to produce it. As a student in the School of Media Studies, she’s found the support she needs to make her writing come to life.
"My script for the Coca-Cola Regal competition was inspired by my personal experience as an international student, away from everything familiar,” said Vitorelli who wrote the script during her time as a student in The New School’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. I want to bring to the screen how much love lives within small things like watching the same movie at the same time for those who live apart."
While all of the contestants are students, the competition gives the finalists the opportunity to go above and beyond their own knowledge. Vitorelli and Rabinovitch had the opportunity to work closely with professionals from the industry as they create the film, while also working closely with faculty and staff from the School of Media Studies.
“The best productions are those created out of passion,” Rabinovitch said. “When I read Thais’ script, I was immediately hooked. It’s my goal as a producer to ensure the artist's vision is met.”
To view the film, please click here. For a video created by Regal that features the making of the film, click here.