Brandi Wylie ’24, student intern

Maya Gentilin ’24 was hoping for a passing grade for the short film she helped create as a final project for a Spanish cinema course she took while studying abroad in Granada, Spain during the 2022-23 academic year. She got that, and much more.

Gentilin’s film “Lost Time” was selected as one of three finalists in the IES Abroad Film Festival. Gentilin, a Spanish and art history double major from Charleston, South Carolina, attended the festival Oct. 11-13 in Chicago. She was Wofford’s first finalist in the annual film festival. The film can be viewed HERE.

She worked with study abroad friends Grant Didway from Whitman College, Emily Greenzang from the University of Rochester, and Sophia Papas from Beloit College on the 4-minute, 50-second film. “Lost Time” was created to mark the students’ departure from Granada, and it was filmed during their final weekend abroad in the spring. Gentilin was the lead actress and assisted in the writing process.

“When we were thinking about what to make for the film, we knew it was the last few weeks and wanted to make an homage to leaving and bittersweet goodbyes,” Gentilin says. “We ended up playing with the idea of the tangibility of memories, having physical objects to represent your time and memories.”

The film represents an abstract portrayal of these ideas, as evidenced by the absence of dialogue.

After submitting the assignment, she was encouraged by Javier Martinez de Velasco, IES Abroad’s Granada program director, and Maite Aparicio, her cinema professor, to submit the film to the IES Abroad’s Film Festival.

“One of our group members submitted the film with a brief summary of what it was about,” Gentillin says. “We heard we were semifinalists over the summer and found out we were finalists one of my first few weeks back on campus. It was a long waiting process, but it was fun to see all of the updates.”

IES Abroad staff reviewed all entries and selected the semifinalists. An international jury then watched and scored the semifinalists, with the top three scores being named finalists. The grand prize winner was selected by an online vote.

The semifinalists and finalists were shown during the festival. Although Gentilin’s group didn’t win overall, she says the experience has sparked her interest in film as well as exploring things outside of her comfort zone.

“Taking classes that you don’t think you have an interest in while abroad will surprise you for sure,” Gentilin says. “I think the reason (my group) had so much fun with (our assignment) was because we wanted to put in the work and spend time on it, and it was so rewarding to see that time pay off. I am so glad we were all on the same page about wanting to make the most of the class and the film.”