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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

DUI drama wins student film prize

Not all participants in the Campus MovieFest film “”D.U.I: Under the Influence”” knew they were being filmed.

The five-minute film was shot at University Medical Center and follows a man who crashes his car after driving drunk. Many members of the medical staff believed the actor was a real patient.

Physiology senior Kandarp Shah and finance senior Jigar Desai made the film with help from Dr. Rifat Latifi, UMC associate director of trauma, critical care and emergency surgery.

“”(Latifi) did not tell anybody that I was going to be a fake patient,”” said Desai, the film’s primary actor. “”He basically kind of made a twist in this movie so everyone would do this the way they’d treat a real patient.””

Desai was taken from the UMC helipad to the operating room. Staff cut open his shirt and actually drew blood.

“”We had to stop them from doing further procedures,”” said Shah, who directed the film.

The realistic footage helped the team win the award for best drama at the University of Arizona Campus MovieFest competition on Oct. 1. The competition loans students film equipment to make short films within one week.

The students won Final Cut software and an iPod Nano. The film will also go to a national competition in June.

“”The audience was really, really surprised by the footage,”” Shah said. “”All the audience came to us after and asked us, ‘How did you take this patient to the O.R.?

How is this possible?'””

Shah competed in the film festival last year but did not win an award.

“”This semester, I thought I wanted to do something better, something meaningful,”” Shah said. “”I wanted to do something that applied to the community as a whole.””

Shah said he decided to focus on drinking and driving because “”it has been an issue at the UA.””

“”I work in the ER because I’m pre-med, and every weekend we see patients come in who have been drunk driving,”” Shah said.

Shah then approached Desai about acting in the film.

“”This movie was promoting a good cause. I took the action and was like, ‘OK, let me help you guys out,'”” Desai said. “”It was a lot of fun as well.””

Shah knew Latifi from previous medical work and asked him to help. His connections with UMC staff allowed the group to film the same evening.

“”He got everybody in the film to be ready right on the spot,”” Desai said. “”We got all the footage done in about three to four hours, I would say.””

Latifi said he readily agreed to participate.

“”Unfortunately, we deal with this all too often in the trauma room,”” Latifi said. “”Anything we can do to prevent one of you guys, one of the students, a young person, anyone from getting drunk behind the wheel, I will do it.””

Latifi said he wanted the film to show even graver consequences, had there not been time restrictions.

“”I wanted this guy to go to jail because in the script we had him killing someone at the scene as well,”” Latifi said. “”Because he killed someone under the influence and had no idea that he did.””

Latifi said the project inspired him to make a longer film showing real lives ruined by drunk driving.

“”This opened up a few things that we will do,”” Latifi said.

Shah also plans on making more films.

“”I always wanted to do something with media and medicine,”” Shah said. “”I don’t see myself just being a doctor.””

He has a film idea in the works focusing on minorities in medicine. He said he will have the opportunity to speak with directors and filmmakers during the national competition this summer.

“”We can propose our ideas to them, and if they like it, we can take it further,”” Shah said.

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