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Molly Gropp participates in student film at Huntington University

After the successful run of "Nero Bloom" in 2009, Huntington University students are once again hitting the red carpet with their newest film, "Sail Away." Molly Gropp, a sophomore film production major from Hudson, is the set designer on the cast for the film.

"Sail Away," a 25-minute drama premiering at the Cinema Center in Ft. Wayne on Dec. 9, tells the story of two people, different in every way, who find that a model ship brings them together in an unexpected way. It pulls at the heartstrings of anyone who has ever lost a friend but found a new one right next door.

"I think there's something for everyone in this story," said Director Daniel Evans. "The main thing is that you can find a friend anywhere."

Based on the story by senior animation major Katie Eder, "Sail Away" is the culmination of a semester-long project by four senior film students, Evans, Alyson Eddy, Joel Cooper and Miles Allen.

The film is the largest project taken on by any of these students. It was shot on the university campus as well as in the Huntington community. Scenes were also shot on location in Michigan.

"To film, edit and post a short movie in one semester at this caliber is a huge undertaking and demonstrates their hard work and dedication to the craft," said Dr. Lance Clark, professor of digital media arts film and communication. "I am so proud of what they have accomplished through the filmmaking process. One of the great things about our seniors is that they reach out to the underclassmen who are able to serve as crew. In a way, these students are paying it forward and helping groom the next generation of great storytellers within our digital media arts department. I have a great feeling about this film, and I believe it will do well over this next year."

In developing the film, the seniors used a 24-member crew comprised of freshmen through seniors in the digital media arts program.

"It went beyond what I expected," Cooper said about the scope of the project. "It's been really worth it, though."

"Sail Away" will premiere at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Cinema Center, 437 E. Berry St. in Ft. Wayne, with two additional showings at 8 and 9 p.m. A reception with light refreshments as well as a gallery showing at the theater will begin approximately at 7:30 p.m.

All three showings are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at Huntington's Merillat Centre for the Arts Box Office, and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.