Rutgers University Filmmaker is heading to Cannes


86th Oscars, Backstage

Team Oscars talking to John Stamos at the Oscars earlier in March.

by Elizabeth V Zamora

Rutgers student, Jean Paul Isaacs is going to have the chance of a lifetime when he attends the Cannes International film festival in May of this year.

Isaacs, 22, won “Best Picture” in the Campus Movie Film festival at Rutgers back in 2013, for his short film, “The Youth”. It is about an older brother who takes a lousy office job while babysitting his much younger sister. Unhappy and overworked, the older brother is down, but by seeing his younger sister playing, he finally gives in. immerses himself in his favorite pastime, drawing. The short film ends with a quote by Ursula K. Le Guin, “The creative adult is the child who survived.”

On the path to Isaac’s success, he also won a chance to be a part of Team Oscar. College students across the United States submitted videos and a short essay about how they would contribute to the future of movies. Isaacs was one of six chosen. They flew out to Los Angeles a week before the Oscars to prepare for the big day. They were also given the opportunity to tour Hollywood such as, Disney Animation Studios.

“My experience at the Oscars was surreal to say the least,” said Isaacs. “To be on that stage participating in the handing of the Oscars to the best artists for film for the year, was an incredible feeling. It gave me a great source of inspiration to one day be back for a work of my own.”

86th Oscars, Backstage

From Left: Jean Isaacs, Mackenna Millet, Nathan Flanagan, Tayo Amos, and Bryson Kemp at the Oscars.

Isaacs went on to say, “I could feel the energy of some of the most talented, creative people in the industry. It was truly an honor to be a part of cinema history.”

In an interview with the School of Communication and Information, Isaacs said that he will also be going to Zambia, Africa in the beginning of this month to film a documentary about women in a rural village who use agriculture to escape their abusive husbands. He will be working with a SEBS professor and scientist Jim Simon.

Isaacs switched his major from physical therapy to a journalism and media studies major with a minor in cinema studies in the beginning of his junior year. It was a huge change for him, but his passion and interest for film have opened doors for him and he will be graduating this year. Cannes is the next big step in his career and he is excited for it.

“Going to Cannes to me means another opportunity to absorb the environment where the best of the best in film get to attend,” said Isaacs. “I will be surrounded by some of the most prolific filmmakers and I hope to pick their brains about their film. I just plan on learning as much as possible from the experience and enjoying all the moments that come from it.”