“Drunk Bus” feature film presented by Flash Film Commission


Chong Chen, Reporter

Flash Film Commission presented a feature film, “Drunk Bus,” on April 9 in the Design Innovation Hub Theatre. The film was directed by Kent State alum Brandon LaGanke.

LaGanke, John Carlucci, director; and Chris Molinaro, screenwriter; attended along with around 160 other people.

“This is one of the top five biggest things that I have ever seen or have ever worked on for student media,” said Kevin Dilley, the director of student media.

The event organizer, formerly known as Kent State University Independent Films, rebranded recently to Flash Film Commission.

The student organization made feature and length films for the last four years. Starting this semester, it is focusing on setting up resources for students to find cast, crew and funds for their projects. Students also have the opportunity to make and show the short films they produce.

From left to right- screenwriter Chris Molinaro, director Brandon LaGanke, director John Carlucci. (Chong Chen)

The story unfolds with Kent State in the background but the film was shot in Rochester, New York. Most of the scenes were finished in oppressive cold, which was the hardest part during the shooting, LaGanke said.

The film invested a lot of effort and time by the director’s team.

“From the first script to when we exactly finished was about five years,” Carlucci said.

It came out in May 2021 and was shown at a bunch of festivals. Audiences can watch it on Showtime.

The film ran for 80 minutes. It follows Michael, portrayed by Charlie Tahan, a recent college graduate and night driver on the Kent State Campus Loop. His post-college plan is derailed when his girlfriend leaves him for a job in New York City. Life is like a loop. Things change after the bus service hires a security guard, Pineapple, to watch over the night shift.

The audience laughed throughout the whole film and sent out enthusiastic calls and warm applause at the end.

A short guest presentation about the Robert E. Woods Foundation happened after the showing. Woods played a role, “Bob,” in the film; some plots are also adapted from him. The presentation was brought by Wood’s friends from Standing Rock Culture Art to show some of his artistic works and legacy projects.

Q&A session with the screenwriters and directors. (Chong Chen)

After the screening and the presentation, there was an hour Q&A session with the directors and the screenwriter at the end. Tahan appeared as a surprise and participated in the Zoom meeting, which caused the audience to scream again.

Through this film, the directors hope to tell the audience, especially college students, to learn to move forward and break up from difficulties.

“The big world is out there. You need to move on, do the best you can and find what makes you happy and what is your passion about,” Molinaro said. “The difficult movement that you are living in is very small compared to the rest of your life.”

The commission wants to bring some thoughts to students through more events in the future.

“I never would have thought that we could show a film like ‘Drunk Bus.’ So, I think we should always be thinking outside of the box,” said Connor Mutanansky, the co-president of the commission. “College students are young. I think we can take risks and then we can apologize later if it didn’t work out. At least, we tried in the first place.”

The commission’s next big event will be a film festival to show a collection of students’ films on May 7 in the DI Hub. These films presented are currently being made or were made in fall 2021.

Chong Chen is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]