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UA alumnus’ film recognized at Berlinale festival


Courtesy of Cooper James
Arizona graduate Christopher Cegielski’s film “Bloodlines” was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, which ran from Feb. 5-15. Cegielski’s film was the first film by UA graduates ever selected to be screened at the festival.

A passion for films and relentless work ethic helped a UA alumnus receive international attention for the short film he produced in his last few months at the university.

Christopher Nataanii Cegielski is the first UA graduate to have a film, “Bloodlines,” screened at Berlinale, which is a world-leading international film festival that draws in large crowds every year.

Cegielski said he always had an attachment to films but didn’t think about pursuing them seriously until his sophomore year of college.

“I originally thought I wanted to be a writer,” Cegielski said.

He resides in Los Angeles, Calif., and recently received a fellowship from the Sundance Institute. Cegielski said the Sundance Film Festival Fellowship is an extraordinary privilege and has done a lot for him so far in his career.

“[Filmmaking] is a difficult field to get into,” Cegielski said. “There are days where I think to myself, ‘Why did I do this?’ … But it’s because I love it.”

He expressed his passion for writing, making up stories and working on projects, which drove him in the production of the film.

Dae Hyun Song, also a former UA student, worked closely with Cegielski in the production of “Bloodlines” and described Cegielski as being very specific and passionate in making his projects.

“He was probably the hardest worker in our class,” Song said. “He just doesn’t stop; that’s something we all tried to learn from him.”

“Bloodlines” focuses on a tale of two brothers who attempt to earn their father’s approval by killing a wolf. Song added that Cegielski’s script was one of the best he had ever read, and he knew it would be successful.

“You can judge a lot about the film just by reading the script,” Song said. “You can kind of tell if it’s going to be special.”

Cegielski’s plans in LA include continuing his dream of being a filmmaker and hopefully working with unknown actors.

“With every project, you have to improvise and work with what you have,” Cegielski said. “There were times where we had to change a couple things, but everything came out pretty close to how I envisioned.”

He is currently working on his next project, a short film thriller.


Follow Terrie Brianna on Twitter.

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