With three films under his belt, Matthew Maldonado is already an experienced film director and producer.
The Minot State University junior's latest film, 'Kryption," stars an all-local cast and will have its premiere April 25 in the Ann Nicole Nelson Hall in Minot State University's Old Main. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. and live performers will perform at 7 p.m. The film itself will be shown at 9 p.m. Attendees are asked to wear formal attire.
"We want it to be Oscar-like," said Maldonado.
“Kryption” lead actor Eric Thoemke, left, and producer and director Matthew Maldonado pose outside Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at Minot State University on Thursday.
The movie is free, but the audience is asked to consider a free will offering.
"This is all student-driven," said Maldonado, a San Leandro, Calif., native who made his first film when he was still in high school and started dabbling in the craft when he was 11. He is majoring in multimedia studies at Minot State.
He said it has taken him more than a year to complete the thriller with science fiction overtones.
"Kryption" stars Eric Thoemke as a college student who is having trouble sleeping and begins seeing a counselor, who prescribes medication. One of his professors assigns him to do a research project about someone in his family who lived during World War II, so the student decides to use an old journal written in German by an ancestor. Meanwhile, his dreams get worse and odd things keep happening. When he asks a professor to help him translate the journal, the professor is horrified by the contents and tells him to get rid of the journal.
Maldonado didn't want to spoil the story but promises that people will be highly entertained and that the ending will have a twist that will make everything that happened earlier in the movie become clear.
He can guarantee it will be entertaining.
The screenplay was written by Jerrica Rommel, with help from Ciara Peterson.
Cast members include Thoemke, Christine Morse, Andrea Donovan, William Russell, James Jacobson, Taylor Grihorash, Jade Danyluik, Cheyenne Charging, Austin Zorn and Daniel Johnson.
The group filmed their scenes in locations around Minot but Thoemke said people might not recognize all the locations since they chose unusual, out-of-the-way landmarks, such as an old bridge in southeast Minot. They also filmed a party scene at the Pangea House, promising the people who showed up and agreed to work as extras some pizza and a film credit.
Though it's a low budget film, Maldonado said it doesn't look low budget.
"We made it to look really high-end," said Maldonado.
Maldonado intends to enter in next year's Fargo Film Festival as well as the 2015 Sundance and Cannes Film Film Festivals. His previous film "Brother" got into the 2012 Sundance film festival.