Native to talk about filmmaking at NMHU

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By Mercy Lopez

Erik Howell, 27, is giving back to his community. In July, Howell, a Las Vegas native, held a screening of his film and today (Wednesday) he will speak with New Mexico Highlands University students about filmmaking. Starting at 6:30 p.m. at the NMHU Media Arts Building Room 100, Howell will show attendees one short film and tidbits of some of his other film productions. Immediately following the showings, Howell will be available for a question and answer session.

“I’m talking to them about the importance of film, the importance of searching out a graduate school if it interests them and the importance of storytelling,” Howell said.

Howell, a 2003 graduate of Robertson High School, holds a bachelor’s from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas and in May graduated with a master’s in cinematic arts from the University of Southern California.

While completing his master’s, Howell directed several films including, “Of Sand and Sea” and “Elie’s Overcoat.”

“Of Sand and Sea” is about an older gentleman that can’t remember his life history but soon it starts to unravel when he meets a young woman while they build a sandcastle.

“As they build the sand castle, each tower represents his wife, his father, etc.” Howell said. “Each tower his memory starts to come back to him. On the other side of the story, his family is searching for him.”
“Elie’s Overcoat,” which is currently being shown at various film festivals, is based on the Holocaust. Howell, the son of Vince and Vicki Howell, directed both films while he was a graduate student at USC.
Wednesday’s showings are open and free to the public. He previously held a local screening of his films in July.

“I’m going to show them the beginning of ‘Elie’s Overcoat’ to say that this is what a film can look like even in school,” Howell said. “’Elie’s Overcoat’ really raises the bar in terms of production value and the way we tacked the story.”

Howell said his goal is to create a feature film. He is currently working on various scipts and travels when he can where his films are being shown as part of film festivals.