SJU Alum Participates in Hollywood’s HollyShorts Film Festival

Jared Adkins’ experiences at SJU fueled his passion for film production

Beverly Danquah, Features Editor

When Jared Adkins graduated from St John’s 2 years ago, he never imagined that having a college roommate who was film-savvy, and taking advice from his then public relations professor would influence his passion for film production.

A Far Rockaway native, Adkins’ latest film, Note To Self, was a participant in the Academy Award qualifying film festival, The Hollywood’s Holly Shorts Film Festival on Aug. 12. He and his crew competed against other filmmakers from across the nation.

Based in Hollywood, CA, the HollyShorts Film Festival’s mission is to showcase the best and brightest short films from around the globe, something Adkins and his crew were honored to be a part of.

“This was our first time entering a film festival,” Adkins said. “So being that we entered so many and we got selected for a few is great and it helps us know what direction we want to go in with our next project.”

“Note To Self” is a short film about a young man named Darren, who must choose between furthering his career, and pursuing a relationship with Marlee, his longtime and long-distance girlfriend.

The film took about a year to write, and was shot in one day.

The film has been noticed by 4 other film festivals in addition, winning Best Film at the New York City Indie Film Festival.

“We shot the film in New York and being that we were recognized for that award was a great opportunity” Adkins said. “This was our first time entering a film festival, so entering so many getting selected for a few is great and it helps us know what direction we want to go in with our next project.”

Adkins says the piece if work he’s most proud of is a project called Black Theory 2. “This was my favorite project because I was able to work with a bunch of friends and other students from SJU”, he said. “It was a great experience and prepared us for our most recent project.”

The public relations and international studies degree holder said that he had been influenced by rapper and actor Tupac Shakur during his youth.

His interest in music and movies also led to his decision to try to pursue a side-hustle in film.

“To have the film recognized is definitely a blessing,” Adkins said. “We shot the film all in one day being that we all have our regular day jobs and careers”

Adkins works in advertising, so he allocates the little time he has to his film interest. He credits his time management expertise to SJU.

During his time at SJU, Adkins studied abroad in Rome, France and Spain.

Adkins says he would advise aspiring filmmakers to advice surround themselves with people who are “passionate about making film as much as you.”

“If you don’t have a supporting team, it will make it almost impossible to have a successful film”, he added.

He also says he’d advise students to network as much as possible.