Never been to the world premiere of a feature film before? Well, here’s your chance. The UCA Film Department’s second feature-length film, “Sympathy Pains,” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Reynolds Performance Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
“Sympathy Pains” was written and directed by Joe Dull, assistant professor of digital filmmaking. The film tells the story of Danny, a terrible comedian in his late 30s who develops morning sickness when he finds out his wife is pregnant with their first baby.
The film stars Chris Fritzges, assistant professor of theater, as Danny and UCA theater graduate Courtney Bennett as his wife, Stephanie. Other UCA alumni in the cast include Dahren White, FE Mosby and Jim Harris.
The film, which had a budget of just $7,000, was filmed over the course of about a month and a half during the summer of 2012, with a total of 30 shooting days. More than 30 Arkansas locations were used in the film, mostly around Conway and Little Rock. The 35-person crew was comprised entirely of UCA faculty and students with the exception of Dull’s wife, Kat Dull, who worked as executive producer.
Preproduction for the film, which included script writing, took two years. Postproduction — editing, sound design, music composing and visual effects — took one year.
Joe Dull also wrote and directed the film department’s first feature “Table at Luigi’s,” which premiered at UCA in April 2010. The film screened on AETN and at film festivals around the U.S., winning four awards that include Best of Show at Indie Fest in La Jolla, Calif.
Joe Dull said that even though short films provide good training for student filmmakers, working on a full-length feature film allows students to get more experience in filmmaking as a career.
“It’s more like anyone’s career is likely to be,” he said. “It teaches the real work ethic.”
The “Sympathy Pains” premiere will include red carpet arrivals beginning at 7 p.m. David Keith, UCA journalism lecturer, will interview cast and crew members as they arrive, and the interviews will be projected onto a screen inside Reynolds. Dunaway will host the event.
Here’s the trailer for “Sympathy Pains.”