Jonathan Kinsey is a junior film major at Sam Houston State University whose stage-lighting documentary “Illuminate” was selected to be showcased at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Kinsey said. “I knew that there was a trip that had been planned that students were getting to go to the Cannes Film Festival to participate, but I didn’t know that they were submitting student films to the actual festival.”
When associate film professor Tom Garrett told Kinsey that his film was selected for submission, he said that he was surprised. Kinsey said that his love for film and lighting helped him in his determination to create a work worthy of such a prestigious acclaim.
“Illuminate was good, but it could have been better,” Kinsey said. “It makes me a little more excited and a little more shocked that it’s going.”
He started this endeavor after being placed in an independent study with Mass Communication Chair Jean Bodon, although Garrett was of great help to them during the study.
“Jonathan’s passion, interpersonal interactions with others and the quality of his work embody the characteristics of a successful person in the film and media industry or anything he pursues,” Garrett said. “He has the ability to establish an excellent rapport with many different constituents including students, administrators, staff and industry contacts”
Kinsey said he was close with those who work lighting at the Performing Arts Center and decided to highlight them in his film because he believes that lighting professionals often go overlooked.
“They are the un-sung heroes of production,” Kinsey said. “You don’t know about them. If they do their job correctly, you don’t know that they are there.”
The documentary highlighted musical technical director Carrie Barton, dance technical director David Deveau and senior theatre major Mercedes McCleary as they went through their lighting technique and passion.
“I work with them all the time,” Kinsey said. “I followed Carrie Barton around to many different productions that she was working on and I filmed her in action.”
Kinsey hopes to attend graduate school to study audio engineering. He said that he enjoys creating music and collaborating with clients whom need his technical and creative services. Most recently, Kinsey created a dance track for the SHSU opera workshop production of Die Fledermaus that was featured during its two-night run at the PAC in early April.
“He blends a well- organized, task-oriented style with the sensitivity and creativity to all his projects and interactions,” Garrett said. “I am truly confident in all his endeavors as he continues to grow and explore future opportunities, both academically and professionally as a filmmaker.”
Three other SHSU students films were accepted into the Cannes Film Festival: sophomore Datpeter Ton, freshman Chase Parker and graduate Gerald Morris Jr.
The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival will run from May 15 to 26 in Cannes, France.