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Lehigh Valley Students Premiere Short Film at First Peak Film Festival

Hunter Arnold | Writer

Several students from the Lehigh Valley will be featured in the Second Annual First Peak Film Festival, including a short film produced by a handful of students from LCCC and Kutztown University.

A variety of unique visions will be screened, including the debut of Director Marquett Ferrell’s “I Just Hope You Listen,” a film focusing on a young activist’s journey to protest the gentrification of his hometown of South Bethlehem through the means of slam poetry and filmmaking. Ferrell is a Sophomore at Kutztown University.

“I was worried that what we had wasn’t good enough,” said Ferrell. “So to see the acceptance come into my inbox, I woke to it; it was the greatest feeling in the world!”

This will be Ferrell’s first project to premiere at a film festival, an accomplishment attributed not only to his own experience but also to his cast and crew.

“It’s a really cool experience,” said actress and KU freshman Karina Hernandez, whose Dominican heritage helped her better connect with her role as the film's second lead. While Ferrell and Hernandez are both students from Kutztown University, the production team was not just limited to the school.

LCCC senior and TV/Film Major Kailyn Rothenberger also assisted as the film’s cinematographer. Rothenberger managed camera equipment and executed compositional techniques to achieve Ferrell’s directorial vision. Utilizing her knowledge from her classes at LCCC and years of creating personal projects has helped add that extra touch to the film.

“Having more knowledge, especially just about filmmaking in general, it helps me a lot,” said Rothenberger. 

“I Just Hope You Listen” will premiere on April 27 at the Civic Theatre of Allentown. Tickets can be found on the First Peak Film Festival’s website:

Photo Caption: “I Just Hope You Listen” is the first of Director Marquett Ferrell’s projects to be featured in a film festival.


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