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Cañada students debut at Cannes Film Festival: Sir Wade Neistadt and Melissa Loi to present their short film KERFLOOEY
March 12, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Sir Wade Neistadt is one of the stars in his short film KERFLOOEY, which will be featured at Cannes Film Festival. The story involves a super hero named Manly Man who contends with the force of his sneezes while battling the evil Madame Mayhem.

The Cannes Film Festival will be the next stop for 20-year-old Cañada College student Sir Wade Neistadt who produced a five-minute film that will be featured at the festival in May.

At the end of February, Neistadt was notified that his short film, KERFLOOEY, would be one of 26 student-produced films featured in the Short Film Corner, one of three main sections of the French festival. Neistadt’s classmate Melissa Loi, an aspiring novelist, is the writer behind the script. Both act in the film, along with fellow Cañada classmates.

“I was studying for classes and got an email on my phone, I kept reading and it kept bringing in more information,” he said. “My jaw started dropping and I started running around in circles. I called both my parents and texted Melissa. I was just freaking out.”

Neistadt and Loi made the film for the Campus MovieFest, which he found out about in November. Loi came up with the idea for Manly Man, Sub City’s local superhero who wasn’t invincible. He fought a cold at the same time he was battling Madame Mayhem. Every Manly Man sneeze brings Madame Mayhem closer to defeat while giving Neistadt a chance to display the special effects skills he refined in his multimedia classes. They entered the competition and it received a Silver Tripod Award for Best Special Effects, a Best Actor Award for Neistadt’s portrayal of Manly Man and the Best Picture Award. Campus MovieFest informed them it sends about 30 student films to the Cannes festival. Ultimately, it was chosen for Cannes.

“The writing of the story was really important and the special effects — we spent a lot of time trying to make a visual experience,” he said. “I had never done anything like it before. It was a lot of fun to do. We’re not film students or anything.”

Meanwhile, Loi, also 20, agreed the special effects are what really made the film stand out, along with the story.

“We were only given a week to put together the entire film, which is pressing for any movie,” she said. “It’s the first script I’ve written for a film.”

The Cannes selection was a huge surprise for Loi too.

“It was totally unexpected,” she said. “Originally our idea to participate was just for having a fun project to do; I never imagined it would be this big.”

Neistadt, a southern California native, transferred to Cañada from California State University San Marcos because he wanted to be in Silicon Valley to pursue his dream of making films. Neistadt’s first name is Sir and, no, he is not a knight. He attributes the name to his dad, who is a bit of a jokester. He began refining his video editing and special effects skills under Cañada faculty, who have worked at major studios such as Disney, Pixar and Wildbrain.

Paul Naas, Cañada multimedia program director, said having a film at Cannes is a major accomplishment for any filmmaker.

“For a student filmmaker to achieve this is spectacular,” he said in a statement. “I’m thrilled Wade’s hard work is being acknowledged. He has a very cinematic eye and several of the shots in the film are quite innovative.”

So what’s behind the film’s name?

“Once we had most of the film finished, we had to think of a name,” Neistadt said. “We had all the obvious ones, but Melissa came up with it. It’s a goofy, weird movie that needed a funny goofy weird word to say sneeze. It’s a Doctor Seuss word.”

Neistadt will get to walk the red carpet and watch the world premiers of the Cannes Official Selection. He’ll also go to workshops and Q&A sessions. His film will also be featured at Universal Studios in Hollywood in June as part of a three-day red carpet event where industry professionals host workshops and network with student filmmakers from around the country. He plans on transferring to four-year university in the fall and wants to ultimately do animation and special effects. For now, he is working with animation ideas and wants to do a lot of things in 3-D, along with incorporating real people with animated parts.

Neistadt will be in the south of France May 12-26 for the festival. KERFLOOEY can be viewed at

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: neistadt, special, effects, cannes, festival, student,

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