Filmmakers Get A Taste Of Success

Photo by Dana Schmerzler.
Photo by Dana Schmerzler.
Photo by Dana Schmerzler.


The four most important components of life, according to Matthew Hunter, are friendship, unexpectedness, love and sandwiches.

A New Paltz alum and founder of Business Lunch Productions, Hunter took one of his lifelong priorities to the screen this past August when he wrote and directed  the original story of “Sandwich Girl: The Movie.”

A ninety minute long film, “Sandwich Girl: The Movie” gives viewers a taste of Dylan, played by Nicholas Guastella, a fourth-year theater performance major at SUNY Purchase.

“Sandwich Girl: The Movie” is described as a comedy about three inevitable things: death, love and sandwiches, according to the film’s Facebook page.

The meat of the movie follows Dylan and his gang of friends “as they go on an other-worldly adventure of unexpected proportions after Dylan meets the girl of his dreams, Caroline,” also according to its Facebook page.

Caroline’s character is played by Amanda Brooklyn, an alum of Fordham University with a major in theater performance.

The film’s screenplay was a collaborative effort between Hunter and filmmaking friends Harrison Bryan, a fourth-year acting major at Boston University, Ben Stanton, also a fourth-year acting major at Boston University and Mike Blandino, a third-year music major at Brooklyn College.

The movie also featured Brandon Zelman, an alum of Fordham University with a major in theater performance, who acted as the film’s producer and assistant director as well.

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, the group of filmmakers returned to the movie’s birthplace and stopped off at another location on their tour of colleges along the east coast when they screened the film in New Paltz’s Lecture Center.

New Paltz was able to sample a taste of “Sandwich Girl: The Movie” because of the interest it sparked in Media and Journalism Society Co-Presidents Miriam Ward, a third-year digital media production and history double-major and Sasha Ribowsky, a fourth-year digital media production and French double-major.

The Media and Journalism Society chose to screen “Sandwich Girl: The Movie” in particular because they were interested in supporting a recent graduate within the department, according to Ward.

Support for the film also came from Assistant Professor of Communications and Media, Gregg Bray,  who kept in touch with Hunter after his graduation last year and encouraged the filmmakers to screen their movie in New Paltz for the benefit of both students and movie-makers alike.

Ward also said the Media and Journalism Society thought showing a movie made by young filmmakers would be a great way for current students to see the success gained from working on such a project.

According to Ward, exposure to the film gave students a chance to see behind-the-scenes work and the “immense effort it takes to make a feature film.”

Both Ward and Ribowsky were pleased and impressed by the screening’s attendance, and were also glad to see how many students came together to support a former New Paltz student’s work.

Hunter was also happy about how the screening went, and said while he expected ten to twenty people to show up, he ended up losing count at eighty audience members.

The filmmakers held a question and answer session after the movie screening, through which the audience learned more about the production as a whole.

The creators of the film benefitted from the screening as much as the students who attended it by gauging how well audience members digested the movie through a questionnaire, the answers to which they will take into consideration during the film’s final production stages.

As far as the future goes, Business Lunch Productions, the company that produced “Sandwich Girl: The Movie,” are already working up an appetite for success, as they are currently collaborating with different companies to develop scripts for future endeavors.