Glen Ellyn native Sam Bengtson, a senior arts, entertainment and media management major at Columbia College, is the producer behind one of the four finalist short films made for a Sprite Films contest, the Suburban Life reports.
You can watch the short film that he and fellow Columbia senior Sean Grasse created above, called “Heart of the Hood.”
The two earned a $15,000 grant from Sprite to make the film when they won a contest based on their script, in the first year that Columbia students were allowed to enter, the Columbia Chronicle reported; the 60-second shot was filmed on the Near West Side in April.
“We entered the competition on a whim… We didn’t know we had gold going in, but it turns out we did,” Bengston told the Chronicle, adding that he would like to use the contest to launch a production company with Grasse.
“The contest is more than a stepping stone… It’s a ladder to the next phase of my life.”
The short film focuses on a graffiti-covered wall, used for basketball and for just hanging out, as the soulful center of a diverse community (that, of course, drinks quite a bit of Sprite.)
Need another reason to vote for a film? Votes are entered into a sweepstakes for a trip for four to Universal Orlando Resort.