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by charles minshew
James Kicklighter, a junior public relations major, has been a very busy person for the past year or so. He serves as a member of the CLASS Dean’s Student Advisory Board, Publicity coordinator for the SGA, and he just wrapped up production a new documentary. Kicklighter served as director and producer of the film “Di Passaggio.” The 65-minute documentary revolves around the lives of students Leslie Beard, Ansley Brackett, Matt Kines, John DiPietro as well as Kicklighter as they travel across Italy during a Summer 2008 study abroad program. Accoring to the film’s web site, “Di Passaggio” is based on the journals of Scott Singleton, who is currently pursuing a degree in English from Kennesaw State University, and Preston Johnson, who took his
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first trip to Montepulciano, Italy at the age of 24. Matt Kines, currently a senior History major here at GSU, was in a personal battle of faith and religion before going to Italy. For him, “Di Passaggio” chronicles his journey from a disconnection with God to a newly found faith. Of his future plans to travel, Kines said “I’m confident enough in my ability to go somewhere and feel comfortable doing it by myself, now that I’ve done it. I don’t know why I should feel that way, but I feel like I can do it anyway.” Kines added that he has already seen the film, and he had much praise for the work of Kicklighter and the “Di Passaggio” crew. “I think that James did a really good job of capturing the importance of Pompeii and how he

incorporated death and dealing with things with Pompeii,” Kines said. “He [Kicklighter] carried a camera everywhere. He basically filmed this movie on site by himself with very limited access to others people’s opinions,” Kines said. “So, considering all these factors, James did a wonderful job creating questions and creating perspectives of people, and bringing it all together.” Kicklighter added that many of the stories that he would have liked to explore “were left on the cutting room floor” “The post-production process from July to now has been very intensive because we shot about 60 hours of footage to bring down into 65 minutes,” Kicklighter said. “finding those stories, and finding

who those characters are has been a very interesting process.” In simple terms, “Di Passaggio” is more than a documentary. In a way, it is a coming-of-age story set against the beautiful backdrops of Italian cities such as Montepulciano, Florence and Pompeii. Some of the students have never stepped on foreign soil. Others have traveled abroad before. What they all have in common is a desire to become someone new. Whether it is a hunger for something new or another step toward maturity, these students have found something to strive for. At first, it seems as if the members of the group has trouble getting along with each other. It might be an argument over directions to a hostel or an indifference of feelings over another member of the group. However, they learn how to deal with the consequences of their actions, and sometimes inactions. They soon learn that the decisions they make can profoundly change their lives. Kicklighter also explores his own personal battles including his thoughts on past work and relationships with his family. Since the movie lasts only 65 minutes, there is not enough time to lose track of what is going on, but it also doesn’t give Kicklighter much time to explore some of the deeper mysteries of the people’s minds and souls. But, he does do a great job with the time he does have. Also worth taking into consideration that Kicklighter filmed “Di Passaggio” on a handheld Canon HD Camcorder. Even though some of the video quality might not be what you think of when you think of a theatrical release, it’s a job well done. The artwork seen in various scenes of “Di Passaggio” as well as the art of the closing credits are all student created. While there were some crewmembers who are not students, the film was created primarily by a group of students, and their efforts should be applauded. “Di Passaggio” premiered at the Macon Film and Video Festival on Saturday, February 21. There was also a screening at Georgia College and State University last month as well, however, it is not clear if or when the film will screen at GSU. Kicklighter said that he could not comment on additional screenings and releases since his production company is still in negotiations with agents. Kines said that he hopes that GSU students get to see the film and expressed his feelings that “Di Passaggio” be screened for students on campus. For more information, visit the “Di Passaggio” fan page on Facebook, or go to the film’s official webpage at There you can find still shots, deleted scenes, and multiple trailers as well as full crew and cast information.

Above: GSU senior and cast member Matt Kines lost his faith after losing his brother at a young age; The film chronicles his journey back to it. Below: The cast enjoys a seaside dinner in Atrani, Italy. Opposite Page: Narrator J. Michael Moncrief, from JamesWorks Entertainment’s Di Passaggio.

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