'Bombshell': Student Film Reaches to Audiences Beyond Campus

A short film featuring the works of several students and alumni hits the film festival circuit.

By: Evelyn Carlin ’24  Wednesday, November 9, 2022 11:24 AM

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What started out as a media & communication CUE project has turned into a film that's getting recognition from multiple film festivals. “Bombshell,” a short film produced by Maggie Mustion ’22, Arielle Weinberger ’22 and Mallory Goldsmith ’22, has had an impact outside the confines of the Muhlenberg community. 

Several Muhlenberg alumni and current students have been involved in the project. Larissa Dowling ’22  and Evelyn Carlin ’24 star in the film. Mustion worked behind the camera as co-producer, writer and director; Weinberger is co-producer and editor; Goldsmith is co-producer, assistant director and production designer. Rosy Vinod ’25 is the script supervisor, Oliver Waite ’22 is the music composer and Sasson Lonner ’22 is director of photography. Gretchen D’Amato ’23 worked on sound for the film, and D'Amato, Maddi Whiting ’22 and Becca McCord ’22 all worked as cinematographers. 

“Bombshell” follows Erin (Dowling), a shy middle schooler who constantly compares herself to her older sister, Maya (Carlin).

“In Erin’s eyes, Maya has everything,” Mustion says. “She is the perfect girl, everything that Erin isn’t. In one night, however, Erin learns that Maya may not be as perfect as she thinks she is.”

Filming and production occurred in the fall of 2021. Despite some trials and tribulations, Goldsmith says she formed developed a newfound passion for film — as well as new relationships with members of the cast and crew, which made the process all worth-while.

“The production of Bombshell made me fall in love with the film-making process,” she says. “But it was very high stress most of the time and required us all to constantly be thinking on our toes and be extremely flexible — things rarely go as planned on set. I think the bonds I made on set with other members of the cast and crew are unlike any other relationships I’ve had.”

Cut to one year later. The film has earned selections from several film festivals, including the Orlando International Film Festival, the Newark Short Film Awards, the Hollywood Florida Film Festival, the Student World Impact Film Festival (SWIFF) and the Lauderdale International Film Festival.

“We’ve been nominated for an award at SWIFF," Weinberger says. "We'll find out if we won at the festival on November 13!”

Now that the filming process is over, the three co-producers have some new and exciting projects in store. Goldsmith is currently working as a substitute teacher as she builds her film portfolio, in hopes of getting a foot in the door with commercial and advertising production. Weinberger is the social media manager for an entertainment company in South Florida, while also working as publicity manager for a short horror film currently in production in Orlando. Mustion is excited about several new film projects with some other friends in the film industry.

Mustion says she's looking forward to putting "Bombshell" out there for folks to see — but that has to wait until after the festival screenings. She says they'll know more soon about a potential release date for the film as well as additional film festival selections.



About the Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance Department
Muhlenberg offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre and dance. The Princeton Review ranked Muhlenberg’s theatre program in the top twelve in the nation for eight years in a row, and Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theatre and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theatre and dance.

About Muhlenberg College
Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private liberal arts college offering baccalaureate and graduate programs. With an enrollment of nearly 2,000 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences; selected preprofessional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health; and progressive workforce-focused post-baccalaureate certificates and master’s degrees. Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, approximately 90 miles west of New York City, Muhlenberg is a member of the Centennial Conference, competing in 23 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.