Student's film focuses on adapting to U.S. college life as a foreign student

April 17, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A film by a Penn State student about the challenges of adapting to American college life as a foreigner will screen at 5 p.m. on April 21 in Carnegie Cinema.

Freshman Sebastien Kraft wrote, directed and produced “Vis-à-Vis,” which is centered around Marianne Lambert, an international student who learns to live with loss and open up to those around her through her late father’s spirit. The screening is free and open to the public.

Kraft, a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, and native of France, was recently accepted into Penn State’s Presidential Leadership Academy. He’s a Schreyer Honors Scholar who plans to focus on broadcast journalism and one day be a broadcaster, columnist or news anchor. During his freshman year, he has gained relevant experience with CommRadio, PSN-TV and The Daily Collegian.

He also made time to complete “Vis-à-Vis” — adding to his growing list of credits.

“It took an all-nighter, some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and almost daily editing since January in the Pattee Library Media Commons,” Kraft said. “The budget was zero, and I’m so proud of my cast for making this project a reality and exceeding my directorial expectations.”

Even before arriving at Penn State, Kraft was producing films. He spent four days in Paris in August 2017 to film a short documentary about the refugee crisis. That film, “Shades of Light: The Refugee Crisis Abroad,” followed two refugees from Mauritania and Yemen, along with Kraft’s great aunt and Amnesty International member Marie-Edith Douillard.

Kraft submitted the documentary to over 75 festivals on FilmFreeway, an online platform for festival submissions. It was an official selection at the Dunedin International Film Festival in Dunedin, Florida, and won best documentary at the Great Message International Film Festival in India. Another of his films was named best documentary at the 2018 Montgomery County (Maryland) Youth Media Festival.

Last Updated June 02, 2021