Students create film, bring attention to domestic violence


Photo by: Christina Xan

FMU students Christina Xan and Christian Brunetti filmed “Glass” over spring break. The film is anticipated to premier on May 30 in the FMU Black Box Theatre in the Performing Arts Center.

What started as a class project for a creative writing class has now turned senior English major Christina Xan into a filmmaker.

Xan is currently enrolled in a creative writing playwright class, and each student in the class was assigned to write a short, ten-minute “foreplay” based on sex or gender. Some of these plays, including Xan’s play, were read aloud at the Gender Week (G-Week) event titled “Foreplays.” Xan’s play, “Glass,” tells the story of a woman named Rose who is completely broken down by her physically and emotionally abusive husband.

When the class read Xan’s script, senior English major Christian Brunetti felt that the script should be made into a short film.

“When I read the script, I knew it was really powerful and something that should be made into a film,” Brunetti said.

Both Xan and Brunetti have been personally affected by domestic violence. They said that this film would be a great way to bring awareness to domestic abuse and to encourage people that are being domestically abused to get help and get out of the abusive situation.

“As a filmmaker, my goal was to use “Glass” as a platform to raise awareness about domestic abuse and promote change within our community,” Brunetti said.

Brunetti, the director of “Glass” has worked in the film and television industry before. He has recently worked as an actor, stunt coordinator and military advisor for television shows such as “Army Wives.” This previous experience allowed him to kick-start the filmmaking process by contacting different producers, camera men, designers and other organizations to help work on the film. To begin the filmmaking process, Xan and Brunetti sent out casting calls, held auditions and were eventually able to hire professional actors. To help fund the project, Xan and Brunetti utilized Indiegogo, a website that helps people campaign and raise money to fund independent films, businesses and ideas. The Indiegogo fundraising account for “Glass” raised more than $2,500 and helped pay for most of the project’s filming costs. Xan and Brunetti also partnered with local non-profit organizations that help individuals affected by domestic abuse, such as The CARE House of the Pee Dee and the Pee Dee Coalition.

All filming took place in Florence, S.C., during FMU’s spring break.

“The filming process was incredible,” Xan said. “Everyone was so passionate and kind and hardworking. Everyone was happy to be there, and it showed. It was an exceptionally humbling but also empowering experience to watch people say lines that I had written.”

Xan and Brunetti said that this process has been one of the most exciting and influential projects throughout their time at FMU.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Xan said. “And I genuinely hope I get to do it again someday.”

“Glass” is currently in its post-production phase, meaning that directors and workers are finishing the last part of the film and getting the film ready to be premiered.

“Glass” is expected to be premier at the Black Box Theatre in the Performing Arts Center on May 30. Ticket sales will begin prior to the premiere date. The premiere of “Glass” will act as a fundraiser with all proceeds being donated to The CARE House in Florence, S.C., Xan and Brunetti are also entering the film into local film festivals and hope to have the play fully staged, rehearsed and performed during next year’s G-Week.