Student writes, directs and premiers his own film

On Wednesday night in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center, senior James Koth premiered his student film, “The Towers.”

“I’ve spent the past four months writing and directing and editing it,” Koth said. “It’s been an extremely fun process, and I hope it shows up on the screen tonight.”

Koth’s 18-minute film was the product of an independent study he completed under St. Thomas music and theater instructor James Snapko’s guidance.

“He had shown interest (in film) all along, during his college career,” Snapko said. “It’s impressive. He was able to accomplish a lot in this semester and he’s definitely shown that he can pull a lot of resources together, in one common vision, and that’s not easy to do.”

Koth said he was thankful to have the opportunity to work under Snapko.

“I’ve taken four classes with him. I’ve also worked with Snapko on the 48-Hour Film Festival and Comcast Spotlight making commercials, so he was my avenue to get through making this individual study,” Koth said. “And it’s been an extremely rewarding experience to use his tutelage and expertise and throw it with my passion onto the screen.”

Senior Perry Chicos, a member of the film’s cast, was satisfied with the experience he had on set.

“(Koth is) easy to work with,” Chicos said. “Very laid back, but still told you the direction that he wanted with how the scene goes.”

After having the opportunity to produce a short film within the St. Thomas community, Koth says he believes more students could complete a similar experience.

“I think there’s a lot of untapped potential and a lot of students that would love to tell a story through the art of film,” Koth said. “Films are used as tools, informational tools, and giving people the opportunity to create something tangible and show it to other students would be especially rewarding and a huge draw to St. Thomas.”

Katherine Curtis can be reached at