Expired September 27, 2021 3:45 AM
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This is a moderated discussion with the creator and director of Quaranteened, Cori Anne Laemmel, Artistic Director of The Theater Bug in Nashville, TN.

When literally everything is cancelled, how do we connect? Quaranteened: A Virtual Musical is an all new virtual musical from The Theater Bug, in partnership with MA2LA. Quaranteened was written by all teen writers and recorded entirely from home and produced remotely. The show features the intertwined stories of a group of teenagers trying to stay connected in a world asking them to isolate themselves. It is based on the moment we are living in, told across Zoom classes, FaceTime, TikToks and texts.

Juror comments: The relevance of the short film Quaranteened: The Musical, its high production quality and great message make it a must-watch in 2020. The film is conscious of the fact that we are living in an era of a global pandemic and the sky seems like it’s falling. It addresses the subject quite beautifully.

This musical is about teen life during the age of COVID-19, documented through photos, chats, Zoom calls and lots of great music!

The film addresses death, distress and technological irritation with delicacy, and I appreciate that. Without making one issue seem like it is less than another, Quaranteened: A Virtual Musical weaves a massive web of events (all of which reportedly have happened in 2020) that will make the viewer gape at the complexity of this year.

The decidedly novel approach to filming Quaranteened: A Virtual Musical gives it a unique flavor. It is all recorded online, which makes it feel very organic. As far as the best shot in the film, I like the one-on-one Zoom calls as they manage to encapsulate each character's thoughts, emotions and personalities, while maintaining focus, all in a snippet of time. What a clever idea! The costumes are all contemporary attire, typically worn by teenagers in 2020. The scenes take place in each character's home – making the film feel very real. I've attended zoom classes and the film's representation is accurate. The music is what drives this film and is emotionally deep and thought-provoking. Most importantly, I would love to have the musical score of Quaranteened: A Virtual Musical on a Spotify playlist.

The only major special effects, besides some animation with names, Instagram videos and FaceTime or Zoom calls are in a song with an 8-bit-like theme. The special effects are a fun touch and give the short film a lighter feel. Cori Anne Laemmel directs this short film. Anthony Matula is Director of Photography, Laura Matula is Producer and Musical Director and MA2LA Studios edited, mixed sound and dealt with SFX and VFX. This film has 30 writers and over 40 cast members! Out of the 40+ characters in this film, I found A. Jones' portrayal of Lee to be emotionally touching and incredibly convincing. I also shed several tears for Betsy, played by Abbey Rhyne. One of my favorite scenes is the one where Betsy and Peter call and talk out past events, sharing an emotional moment as friends. It is one of many touching moments in short film.

The message of this film is: even though we are isolated and socially distanced, we are not alone. We will get through this pandemic together and be stronger. You should know that one of the major events of the film is the death of a minor character from COVID-19. This qualifies as a sensitive topic.

I give Quaranteened: A Virtual Musical 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. The high production quality, relevance to our times, and deep storyline qualify it for a youth and family film festival. Reviewed by Eshaan M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    64 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Cori Anne Laemmel
  • Screenwriter
    Annabelle Frank, Anthony Bart, Ariana Crefeld, Cameron Adams, Charlie Webb, Christopher Cooper, Emily Griffith, Grace Bronleewe, Gus O'Brien, Hannah Trauscht, Jake Jarrett, Lennon Freitas, Liliana Gomez, Liza Bandy, McKenzie Jackson, Robin August Fritsch, Rowan Maher, Tigris Parada, Zoë Johnson, Zoë Dominguez, Cori Anne Laemmel, Laura Matula, Natalie Risk, Nate Eppler
  • Producer
    Laura Matula
  • Executive Producer
    Cori Anne Laemmel, The Theater Bug
  • Cast
    Lane Williamson,"Peter", A. Jones,"Lee", Abbey Rhyne,"Betsy", Charlie Webb,"Charlie", Milo Cunningham,"Xander", Grace Bronleewe,"Sarah", Serena Alexander,"Paige", Abby James Witherspoon,"Payton", Ayla Williams,"Alisha", Christopher Cooper,"Dahn", Tigris Parada,"Gina", Ewan Whinnery,"Christian", Jalen Walker,"Oliver", Margo Boone,"Laura", Hannah Trauscht,"Jenna", Gillian Flatt,"Emory", Dock Havey,"Ethan", Bella Higginbotham,"Ziggy", Elysa Matula,"Layla", Emily Griffith,"Beth", Kendall Smith,"Dee", Kari Belle King,"Elle", Hemani Mehta,"Anika", Anthony Bart,"Matty", Rowan Maher,"as herself (little girl singing)", Pascia Smith,"Miss Warren", Dan Brewer,"Jenna's Grandpa", Garris Wimmer,"Emory's Gramps", Howard Snyder,"Matty's Grandpa Ford", Layne Sasser,"Mrs. Gwatney", Matthew Carlton,"Layla's Pop-Pop", Pat Taber,"Ziggy's Gee Gee", Jennifer Whitcomb Oliva,"Laura's Grandma Ricci", Elliott Robinson,"Oliver's Grandpa", Evelyne Blythe,"Oliver's Grandma", Michael Najarian,"Ethan's Paw-Paw", Henry Haggard,"Paige/Payton Grandpa"
  • Cinematographer
    Anthony Matula
  • Editor
  • Sound Design
  • Music
    Laura Matula