The fifth cohort of the Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media program is finishing up “Jubilation,” a live-action short film, which has taken more than nine months to complete.

The fifth IFDM cohort raised $3,940, more than any other in the past, by crowdfunding and spreading awareness for the project through social media, as well as talking to businesses and family members.

Aroonsri Khamsamran, a senior IFDM major and director of “Jubiliation,” said she and many other teammates began the project with the intention of being trailblazers.

“So this is an accomplished goal that we wanted to reach, the cohort that every other cohort wanted to follow and reach up to us,” Khamsamran said. “We are happy that we met one of the goals and totally kicked butt.”

According to a press release, there were 80 crew members from UNM and CNM working on the project.

One of the struggles they faced, Khamsamran said, was being introduced to the CNM students right before filming started.

“The hard part is that, there are from a different school and trying to build a relationship where there is trust among both crews is definitely a challenge. But we worked really well with them,” she said.

However, the IFDM program and teachers helped the students by providing guidance, support, equipment and a budget of $500, she said.

Miguel Gandert, director of the IFDM program, said crowdfunding is completely up to the crew members, but the IFDM program helps the students in any way possible such as building props.

“It just shows how they are really getting into the film industry the way people do in the real world. There’s been whole entire feature films that have been funded by crowdsourcing. So there are just using the tools that are available to them and I encourage it,” Gandert said.

Producing a capstone film at the end of college will help the students obtain jobs because of the quality of the films and also teach collaboration, he said. The collaboration between CNM and UNM help balance the strengths and weaknesses of both programs.

CNM teaches students below the line jobs in the film industry such as carpenters and gaffers, and UNM students are taught editing, writing and cinematography, which are considered above the line jobs.

“We are able to use them as a partner. And they partner literally with us and that way we are able to work on their pedagogical mission, their teaching mission, which is to support the trades that are involved in film, and allows (UNM) students to create a higher quality product,” Gandert said.

Every cohort embarks on projects during their senior year. In the past some students have done animation, films, live-action theater and video games, he said.

Jannell Murray, a senior IFDM major and screenwriter for “Jubilation,” said the inspiration for the film came from a conversation about the existence of paradise.

After three months the script was complete and the crew moved onto the casting then filming, she said.

“Writing a script, most of the struggle comes from just wanting it to be perfect. Wanting that perfection and trying to keep our minds kind of unbiased and clear,” Murray said.

Working on “Jubilation” has helped Murray by being a foundational learning experience and has provided a clearer understanding of independent filmmaking and student film making, she said.

Lauren Marvin is a culture editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @LaurenMarvin.