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May 14, 2008

UI junior in cinema is on his way to 2008 Cannes Film Festival -- as a producer

University of Iowa junior Bob Zegler, a cinema major in the UI Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature, is on his way to the famed Cannes Film Festival -- as a producer.

In addition to courses in his major, Zegler has been taking classes at the UI Tippie College of Business. He recently completed the entrepreneurial course New Ventures in the Arts.

Zegler is the producer of "Eyelids," a 5-minute-46-second short film that is entered in the Short Film Corner at the 2008 Festival de Cannes, taking place through May 25. Zegler will be in Cannes to help promote "Eyelids" May 14-21.

Founded in 2004, the Short Film Corner brings together producers and directors of short films with buyers, distributors and festival programmers. It is designed as a gateway to the world of feature films for new talent in the film industry. This part of the Cannes Festival has grown rapidly: From 400 films in 2004 it has grown to more than 1,780 films from 80 countries around the world.

Short films don't have scheduled screenings, as do feature films at Cannes. Instead, they are available to potential buyers on video screens installed in the Short Film Corner, where the producers and directors are also available for deal making.

"Eyelids" was filmed on 16mm black-and-white film in April 2007 and completed by October. It was submitted to the Short Film Corner in February of this year and was accepted at the beginning of April.

The film is based on a children's book by the writer/director Brad Bischoff, a student at Columbia College in Chicago.

"We are excited and bewildered about the opportunity at hand," Zegler said before departing for Cannes on Tuesday. "I feel that my trip to Cannes as a representative of the UI as both a film major and business student will be a remarkable experience and occasion.

"I made the film with members of a LookAtRubbish, a production company I started in high school with Bischoff. Other members of the company are Jake Zalutsky, director of photography for 'Eyelids,' art director Nick Santore and co-producer Jason O'Malley. We specialize in low-budget music videos, dramatic shorts and viral comedic videos."

Learn more about the company at http://www.lookatrubbish.com.

Zegler said "Eyelids" is a story about love, courage and dreams. Pal, a young artist, falls in love with the prettiest girl in his art class, Iris. If there were one place he could wish to live, it would be on the inside of her eyelids, where she would have to notice him. After discovering that he is too small to be seen, Pal realizes the only thing he can control is painting Iris' dreams on the inside of her eyelids. Perhaps it is through dreaming that his imagination can become a reality.

The Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http//www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Bob Zegler, producer of "Eyelids," will answer e-mail while at Cannes: robert-zegler@uiowa.edu; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell), peter-alexander@uiowa.edu