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Pandemic-inspired film wins festival awards

“Fowl,” a poignant 21-minute film by Creative Media Institute professors Ross Marks and Mitch Fowler, guides viewers through a day in the life of two elderly men in an assisted living hospice facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The film took eight months to complete and started the film festival circuit in February 2021. “Fowl” has earned awards at the Berlin Shorts Festival, San Francisco Indie Short Film Festival, Phoenix Shorts Film Festival and the Niagara Falls International Film Festival. It took top honors in the Studio City Film Festival in Hollywood. It also was featured during the 2022 Las Cruces International Film Festival. Marks and Fowler have made 12 films together. They invite CMI students to crew their films as part of the hands-on educational experience.

“I teach in the classroom, directing and screen writing and then put my students on an actual film set and let them see firsthand how I do it,” Marks says. “I’m not just in teaching theory, I give them opportunities to work on a film and do jobs they can put on their résumé.”

The film is available to view at