Filmmaking alumnus determined to attend Cannes Film Festival


Andrew Cathey, director (right), and Zachary Ready, co-director (left), pose behind drying film in the halls of the Fine Arts building Monday, Mar. 10, 2014. Cathey's team, Pocket Pool Productions, has been invited to the Cannes Film Festival for its films "Being a Man" and "The Spot".  Photo by Ryan Leibrich / Xpress Andrew Cathey, director (right), and Zachary Ready, co-director (left), pose behind drying film in the halls of the Fine Arts building Monday, Mar. 10, 2014. Cathey’s team, Pocket Pool Productions, has been invited to the Cannes Film Festival for its films “Being a Man” and “The Spot”. Photo by Ryan Leibrich / Xpress

Andrew Cathey could never have predicted the wave of awards his films would receive at Campus Moviefest, but now he has the opportunity of a lifetime after winning big. His films, “The Spot” and “Being A Man” recieved various awards and provided Cathey with an invitation to attend and have the films screened at the renowned Cannes Film Festival in May.

The co-director and SF State alumnus said he was excited when he found out his films received so many honors, but is still a bit overwhelmed by the prestige that comes with receiving the invitation to Cannes.

“I don’t think it will set in until I get to Paris,” he said. “But yeah, it’s definitely exciting. A once in a lifetime opportunity, that’s for sure.”

Cathey entered the two films into the 2013 Campus Moviefest, the world’s largest student film festival. The annual festival provides college students with filmmaking materials – laptops and cameras, as well as support and training – and students have seven days to produce a comedy, drama, documentary or other film genre.

Cathey’s team, under the name “Pocket Pool Productions,” took the challenge and came up winners when their film “Being A Man” won last fall for best drama out of approximately 150 SF State entries. The film also won for best director and best actor. The group’s other film, “The Spot,” won for best comedy.

Being A Man” tells the dramatic five-minute story of the deceit between two ranchers and a wife. “The Spot” involves four men, marijuana, a barn and a murderous Cookie Monster.

Cathey has been entering films into Campus Moviefest since his freshman year at the University, but lacked the funds to attend Cannes his first time around.

Now, Cathey is even more determined to attend and has set up a designated page on the fundraising website Indiegogo to request outside donations. Cathey said that although he is not the type of person who likes asking people for things, he is accepting donations to help reach his $4000 goal in one month to be able to attend Cannes.

“It’s all about you,” Cathey said, noting the importance of the festival. “It’s all about your networking. It’s all about making connections. (Cannes is) the ultimate opportunity for that.”

Brennan Cook is a friend of Cathey’s and the actor who won for his role of Tyler in “Being a Man.”The character is a rough rancher who kills his friend after discovering the man’s relationship with his wife in Cook. He hopes Cathey can reach his goal so he can have the same opportunity Cook had when he attended Cannes last year after the film he starred in, “The Proceedings,” won for best drama.

Cook once attended SF State as a theater major, but left in 2012 to follow an acting opportunity in L.A. He now lives there and is currently acting in an upcoming TV series, but said attending Cannes helped his career.

“Some people will stick with you for the rest of your life,” Cook said. “I’ve come across that I’m still keeping up with the majority of people who I met on my travels there a year later. You make the most of your experience. You can stroll on the beach every day if you want, or you can go out there and network and collaborate.”

Zach Ready, a junior cinema major, co-directed “Being a Man” with Cathey and said the process was fun since he got to work with friends. He has been making films with Cathey for Campus Moviefest since his freshman year.

Ready said he experienced a frustrating time when he started out because, after winning best comedy for their very first film, his work in the following years never received praise until now.

“The film that explored our most time and effort and anything we’ve ever done before got rewarded by saying ‘you guys were the best directors out of everyone at State,’” Ready said. “It was an incredible feeling.”

Cathey hopes that before moving to L.A. later this year, he can fulfill his dream of attending Cannes. He said that he has seen the impact it has had on Cook and that it could become the same launching pad for his own career.

“To end your four or five years at film school going to the Cannes film festival, it’s huge,” he said.