By Gabby Christensen
It’s not every day that someone can say they’ve played a role in a movie production.
However, thanks to Albion native Aliza Brugger, that changed last week for a number of locals.
Brugger, who was born and raised near Albion, has recently traded the corn fields of Nebraska for the bright lights of New York City, where she now studies film at Columbia University.
While Brugger loves living in the Big Apple, she still considers Albion “home” and even selected the town as the spot for her recent short film, “Roadkill.”
Brugger enlisted the help of friends, family, previous teachers and others in the community to help fill in extra roles for the movie.
The rest of the cast was selected through auditions, and the crew is made up of other Colombia students whose films Brugger has worked on, too.
Her movie “Roadkill” is part of a school project, in which she must create an eight to 12 minute film. Brugger said the production went very well and she’s excited to see the finished product and share it with the community.
Brugger chose this area for filming because it was practical, but more importantly because she wanted to tell the story in the town where she grew up.
“I’ve really come to love this town, and I’m so proud to be from Nebraska,” Brugger said. “It was really special to be able to do this here. People are so willing to help and are excited about the movie being made here.”
So far, Brugger said it’s been a dream to study at an Ivy League school and pursue her passion.
“Colombia has always been my first choice and I absolutely love New York City,” Brugger said.
Prior to attending Colombia, Brugger studied at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She studied film studies and English and also minored in sociology, theater and women and genders studies. Upon graduating, Brugger worked at UNL in Admissions before pursuing graduate school.
Brugger, along with cast and crew, filmed in various places throughout the area last week, including Time Out Bar in Albion, Beaver Valley Road and Andrew Texley’s Farm.
Brugger said they also filmed on a road outside of her parent’s home and also at her grandparents’ farm.
“Road Kill” is about a road kill removal worker named Tillie who finds a friend in a woman named Wanda who found herself stranded on the side of the road after hitting a pheasant.
Tillie is played by Gamze Ceylan and Wanda is portrayed by Nana Ponceleon.
“I really relate to the character Tillie and feel like I’ve been surrounded by Wandas ,” Brugger said. “This is kind of a thank you to all of the ‘Wandas’ in my life.”
Read the complete story in the June 20 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.