Cinemaniacs Premieres Its Newest Project, ‘Cancelled’

UMPI’s up-and-coming film club, the “Cinemaniacs,” is currently working on its second film, called “Cancelled.” Last year, the club created the short film “The Ninth Reward,” a psychological film that its members presented on University Day

“Young college student Erin is currently in the midst of having a reality TV show filmed about his life as a student. When the film crew and members of the cast are kidnapped and thrown into a room together, there seems to be no escape. With one of them dead, nobody can be trusted. It’s a matter of life and death, especially since one of them might be a killer,” Tiffany Smith, founder and president of the Cinemaniacs, explained.

The process of creating a film takes a long time. “By the time we finish filming this semester, we will probably have  spent about 60-70 hours filming. Next semester, it will take the same amount of time or more to edit and market the film.”

Even though the club is only in its second year, it is flourishing. There are 17 club members, six of whom are the cast and two are the crew.

Smith is what keeps this club going. “I’m the president and founder of the Cinemaniacs Filmmaking Club. I wrote the script over the summer for our most current short film in the works. In addition to writing the screenplay and managing the club, I’m also the main camera operator, producer, co-director and editor for the film.”

The goal for “Cancelled” is the same as it was for “The Ninth Reward”: to have it ready to be shown by University Day.

Even though it’s several months out, anticipation is already building.  Abi Davis, UMPI sophomore, is excited to support her peers.  “I look forward to seeing all their hard work in action,” she said.  “It sounds like a really entertaining mystery.”

Julio Garcia, Storm Eirman and Sarah Harris creating a scene in the short film “Cancelled”

UMPI Alumni Back in the Spotlight


Kati Christoffel’s Mountain Piece, This Makes it Worthwhile. This is on display in CC 112 and for sale on her website

University of Maine at Presque Isle’s annual homecoming is designed to bring people near and far and of all ages together.  And that’s exactly what the Alumni Art Show did  Three different UMPI alumni showed work in the art show this year.

“I had my BFA sesior Show at UMPI, as well as a few other student shows, but this is my first show there as an alum. I was excited when Rowena proposed the idea of this show,” Kati Christoffel said.

Christoffel, Rowena McPherson, UMPI’s graphic designer, and Karrie Whisler displayed work in the show.

Christoffel received her BFA from UMPI in 2014. She submitted a small collection of lighthouses and a painting of mountains. “I made the lighthouse series because I was living in Portland and wanted to make a new series of 12 pieces for a calendar, and I figured that locals would like it,” Christoffel said.  “I chose to display the lighthouses in this show because I like them, and they are small so relatively inexpensive to frame and ship.”

Christoffel particularly liked her painting of the mountains, “Nature, and where I currently am, generally inspires my work. I particularly like painting mountains and wild landscapes,” she said, “I like to be able to express my feelings about a place through my work, and it’s fun to take a gorgeous landscape and play with the lines and colors.”

McPherson’s work took up the majority of the show. She had a few different collections: some bigger, more abstract pieces and a more intense and raw series of small and close up watercolors. “The current work up now is a cross-section of my practice since I graduated. I’ve made it a point over the last few years to teach myself something new,” McPherson said. “Each individual piece is inspired by something different, from raw emotion to peoples’ faces, to just the little interactions in life.”

McPherson is very busy and has a hard time finding time to create art, but she manages to do it. “We can all find reasons not to do something. I catch myself making excuses too,” McPherson said, “If you don’t have opportunities like that, find an art buddy and keep each other accountable for whatever goals you set. Or join a Facebook group. I don’t actively participate much, but I’m part of a few groups that are wonderful inspiration.”

Whisler displayed some more abstract pieces in this show and found inspiration in a unique place for the pieces she displayed in the show. “These particular pieces are part of a bigger collection I made inspired from a poem I wrote on an airplane ride home from Virginia.  The poem was very informal, more stream of conscious, and I titled each piece in the show after the line it was inspired by,” Whisler said. “I like how these two pieces play off of each other when they’re shown side by side.  I think there is something interesting about the color palette and the applied techniques.”

Whisler was excited was she was asked to be a part of this show.  “I graduated with a BFA with concentrations in drawing, painting, photography and 3D design, and a BA in Art Education certified to teach K-12….  I truly loved my time at UMPI and love to come back any chance I can get.”

These collections of work are up until the end of October is CC112 Gallery. If you get the chance, go admire the art.

How Can the Hope and Justice Project Help You?

Bjorn Bartlett, Kathryn Murphy and Heidi Dockery working the Criminal Justice Club Table at lunch on University Day, hoping for college students to come and take their survey

The CRJ/SOC 358: Domestic Violence class put on an educational presentation on the Hope and Justice Project and their work for the organization. Instructor Lisa Leduc started off the presentation by informing the audience on what service learning is, a requirement for the criminal justice program. Continue reading “How Can the Hope and Justice Project Help You?”

11 Students, 55 Stories and 110 Calloused Fingers: A Journey in Feature Writing

11 Stu11 Students, 55 Stories and 110 Calloused Fingers: A Journey in Feature Writingdents, 55 Stories and 110 Calloused Fingers–Alyssa Sinclair–Good to Go

The students in PCJ214: Magazine and Feature Writing did a presentation educating people on features and the experiences they had in the class. The students began the presentation by explaining what a feature story is.

“It’s like a news article, but more personal. It’s more focused on a person instead of an event,” Sarah Harris explained. Continue reading “11 Students, 55 Stories and 110 Calloused Fingers: A Journey in Feature Writing”

Heat Wave Takes Northern Maine by Storm

The hot sun beams down on Presque Isle, melting the snow and troubling the lives of the members of the community.

One thing Northern Maine is best known for is the cold. An unexpected heat wave, however, hit the county starting in mid-March of this year. Temperatures have been reaching the upper 90s, which is unheard of for this time of year in northern Maine. Students attending UMPI are shocked by the sudden heat wave. Continue reading “Heat Wave Takes Northern Maine by Storm”

Waiting for a Place to Call Home

Maria, lounging in her cage and taking in all the love.

Are you a dog or a cat person? Some people like cats. Some people like dogs. Others just love animals. If you love animals who are sweet, affectionate and beautiful, meet Maria. Maria is a 3-year-old tri-tiger who was brought in as a stray in September.

“She’s a really sweet girl,” Betsy Hallett, manager of the Central Aroostook Humane Society, said. Continue reading “Waiting for a Place to Call Home”

Dixie: Sniffing Her Way Into the Hearts of Many

Dixie looks out to the window, curious about the world around her

Everyone’s heard the saying “Dogs are a man’s best friend.” And they are rightfully so. Dogs are loving, loyal, fun, adventurous and, of course, adorable. There are thousands of dogs across the country looking for a best friend and a forever home. One of these dogs is Dixie. Continue reading “Dixie: Sniffing Her Way Into the Hearts of Many”

UMPI Enrollment Soars Up 10 Percent

For the second year in a row, UMPI has seen a huge rise in enrollment. Enrollment jumped 10.4 percent between fall 2017 and fall 2018, the biggest enrollment increase in the U Maine System.

“I am very pleased that we’ve seen a double digit increase over the past two years at UMPI,” UMPI President Raymond Rice said. “What’s important is that those increases come from the variety of populations we serve.” Continue reading “UMPI Enrollment Soars Up 10 Percent”

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies*

This sweet treat is bound to be a favorite this holiday season! -picture

What do you think of when you think of the holiday season? Most people would say gathering with friends and family, the cold weather and the food. If you’re attending a holiday party or gathering or just craving a sweet treat during the chilly months, this recipe is for you! This quick and easy recipe only takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook. (The best part is that it’s vegan AND allergy friendly!) Continue reading “Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies*”