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University Liggett School student earns Best in Show at 55th Michigan Student Film Festival

University Liggett School senior Angelina Randazzo's film "Don't Ask" has been selected as Best in Show at the Digital Arts, Film and Television (DAFT) 55th Michigan Student Film Festival.

"Don't Ask," a short film written and directed by Randazzo, was inspired by her own struggles during the college admissions process.
"I wanted this film to capture my wild anxiety while writing essays and stressing about whether I'd be good enough for a college to notice me," she said.

In the film, she used the puppet, S.M.U.B., to represent her fears and anxiety.

"Satirizing the pain allowed me to create a film that is funny and relatably nerve-racking," she said. "I wanted the audience to understand that we are always stronger than our fears."

Besides writing and directing the film, Randazzo said that bringing S.M.U.B. to life was a challenge. She created him using felt, fishing string, and PVC pipes.

"I used a crane system to hold him up, and the process was an experience I'm glad that I challenged myself to," she said.

"Don't Ask" tells the story of Alex, a high school senior anxiously awaiting his college acceptance letters. After being rejected by every school, his fears overtake him. He refuses to open the decision from his dream school, S.M.U.B. While he hides from the letter, it comes to life and graduates from figuratively haunting him to following him everywhere. Will Alex let the brought-to-life college letter S.M.U.B.'s intimidating brows get in the way of his future, or will he finally face his fears?

As a Best in show honoree, Randazzo's film was screened during the Senior High School Awards Ceremony on June 3 at the D.I.A. Watch “Don’t Ask” here