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April 4, 2016

Two Episodes of Student Fran Cacace’s Digital Film Series “OVERDUE” to be Screened

Episodes One and Six, “The Unicorn” and “The Brunch Club,” to Unspool at the Cazenovia Public Library

SUNY Empire State College student Francesca Cacace OVERDUE
Francesca Cacace is completing her B.A. in The Arts, with a concentration in storytelling across media formats, including digital media, more traditional creative writing and visual art, as well as hybrids and interdisciplinary forms.

Two episodes of “OVERDUE,” “The Unicorn” and “The Brunch Club,” a digital mockumentary starring and co-written, co-produced and co-filmed by SUNY Empire State College student Francesca Cacace, will be screened at 7 p.m., Friday, April 8, at the Cazenovia Public Library, Cazenovia, N.Y.

Shot at Minoa Public Library where Cacace works, OVERDUE is a humorous sendup and tells the stories of daily life at the fictitious Pottersville Public Library.

The series features three young women friends who work or volunteer at the library, their friends, an old-school, by-the-book librarian for a boss and the library’s patrons.

“I feel like young people my age are pretty naive about libraries,” said Cacace. “There is a certain stigma/stereotype that I think still exists around libraries. I wanted to show the fun, quirky, heartfelt and real moments that occur in this seemingly cold and unfeeling space that I see every day when I am at work. I wanted to tell a story located in that setting, while also telling a story about what young people face when they are a little bit lost. I basically wanted to tell my own story, with a bit of comedy added in.”

Cacace, who goes by Fran, considers herself a writer first and said that she picks up a digital camera to bring a story to life that cannot live on paper alone.

“I have always been obsessed with movies and television and especially with book-to-movie adaptations,” said Cacace. “I always used to say I could do it better. I think right now I’m attempting to do just that.”

The 20-year-old native and resident of East Syracuse is completing her B.A. in The Arts, with a concentration in storytelling across media formats, which includes digital media, but also more traditional creative writing and visual art, as well as hybrids and interdisciplinary forms.

Cacace also transferred 22 credits from other colleges and has earned 28 credits for college-level learning she acquired through nontraditional means.

Earning credit through the college’s process of individualized prior learning assessment (iPLA) is less expensive than earning credit through traditional, campus-based undergraduate settings and students are spared having to sit in a class going over material they already have mastered.

Cacace said that her goal is to earn a total of 46 credits through iPLA, a process which she said was “validating, gratifying and satisfying.” The combination of transfer and iPLA credits will enable her to earn more than half of her undergraduate degree requirements in a flexible, efficient and less costly manner, when compared with a strictly traditional model of higher education.

“SUNY Empire is the perfect educational environment for me,” said Cacace. “SUNY Empire has allowed me the freedom to do my own thing, while also having enough structure to make me feel like I am not just floating around in space. The mentorship part is exactly what I most yearned for. It’s just the right amount of guidance.”

At the undergraduate level, SUNY Empire pairs each student with a member of the faculty who mentors the student in designing an individualized degree program, the rigorous academic process employed in prior learning assessment throughout the student’s academic career with the college.

“Fran Cacace, like so many of our extraordinary students, is an inspiring example of someone who honored her creative vision through hours and hours of hard work, collaboration and thoughtful revision,” said Mentor Yvonne Murphy. “Fran was not initially seeking outside validation for her artwork but, in the end, it is part of her experience at SUNY Empire, because she made something truly remarkable and of lasting worth. I am fortunate to be her mentor.”

Murphy noted that Cacace will be taking more writing, filmmaking and digital filmmaking studies at SUNY Empire during the upcoming terms.

“I think digital filmmaking is a really fantastic emerging medium,” said Cacace. “The internet allows young artists to bloom in a way that conventional television and film just cannot, because the doors of opportunity are really hard to open in those industries. But digital filmmaking allows artists to tell their stories, make their art, share it with the world and to be discovered based on true talent and creativity. I think it is an amazing platform for creative self-expression and I am so glad that I live in a time where I have access to that platform too.”

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