Fusion Past & Present: Erin Sanger Post-Bombshell Win

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With Fusion 2014 and the awarding of this year’s most excellent female-driven student work on the horizon, we can see that not much farther than that horizon are the success stories of Fusion winners past and present. One such winner, Erin Sanger, whose riveting smash Bombshell took home Best Undergraduate Film and Cinematography in 2013, has been successfully working on a documentary project since her win. After participating in Fusion and continuing to find success as a director, Sanger said nothing but good things when recalling her Fusion experience.

“The festival was great. All of the work was very strong and it was a good venue for me as an undergraduate student to see work that I wouldn’t normally see. One of the graduate level films that won last year remains one of my favorite student films ever. It was also nice to be exposed to the documentary work being done at NYU, which I was somewhat isolated from as a narrative filmmaker,” Sanger said.

Sanger’s short narrative film Bombshell struck an emotional chord with the judges as it portrayed a child’s view of conformity and hate without oversimplifying. As Sanger describes it, the film is about “a group of suburban kids who enact a hate crime over the Fourth of July and how the weight of their actions affect themselves and their relationships with one another.”

Sanger just wrapped production on a documentary of her own after witnessing the amazing passions of the filmmakers at Fusion’s Docs-In-The-Works competition. The doc follows a double-amputee EOD Specialist and his wife as they grapple with his injuries in their new life. Sanger described the harsh human element to directing a documentary as “an emotional but rewarding experience.”

Because of the positive experience she had as a contestant and winner and all of the opportunities and knowledge she received from her participation in Fusion, Sanger continues to uphold Fusion’s aim to promote a continued increase in job opportunities for women behind the camera. The Fusion legacy grows each year, 2014 officially bringing in more submissions than any before. As Sanger puts it herself, “It’s a wonderful platform for both students and alumni to showcase their work, to become informed through terrific panels, and to network with industry professionals. There’s no reason to not submit.”

By Elizabeth Groth