GJHS grad’s film chosen for Cannes showing

Special to the Sentinel
Chris Kaliszewski, a 1996 graduate of Grand Junction High School, directed a 3-minute film that will be shown Friday, June 26, at the Cannes Lions Film Festival for advertising and short films in France. The title of the film is “The Decline.”

Grand Junction High School graduate Chris Kaliszewski has won a prestigious honor in the filmmaking world.

After entering the Straight 8 Film Festival competition, Kaliszewski’s short film “The Decline” was selected to premier Friday, June 26, at the Cannes Lions Film Festival for advertising and short films in France.

Cannes is home to one of the largest film festivals in the world, Kaliszewski said.

Only 19 of the 154 films entered in the Straight 8 Film Festival in London were selected to premier in Cannes. As part of the competition, Kaliszewski’s short film also will show at the end of July at the Rushes Soho Short Film Festival in London.

“We were all confident it was going to make it,” Kaliszewski said about the crew he assembled to film “The Decline.” “We spent three months planning the whole thing.”

This fall, Kaliszewski wants to show the film in New York and Los Angeles, where he has lived for the past 10 years.

“The Decline” is only 3 minutes long and was shot in sequence on one cartridge of 8-millimeter film per competition requirements.

The longer movies shown in theaters are not produced in the same way as “The Decline.”

“The challenge was you actually edit in camera,” Kaliszewski said. “There was no post-production editing. Essentially, it is a silent film. Eight-millimeter film is slightly grainy and very 1970s or ’80s in terms of quality.”

Kaliszewski graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1996. His mother, Sue Gormley, and stepfather, John Gormley, live in Grand Junction.

While in high school, Kaliszewski never got involved in theater. His involvement began when he moved to Los Angeles at 20, he said.

His first job in the movie business came at age 21 when he became actor/comedian Andy Dick’s personal assistant.

“I go my first taste of the industry,” Kaliszewski said. “I sort of worked my way up.”

For the past 10 years, Kaliszewski has been writing and directing films. He also works for a commercial production company.


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