Lake Forest Filmmaker Explores Post-College Life During the Recession

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, only 20% of 2010 college graduates had jobs waiting for them after college.

Considering that private 4-year universities cost around $30,000 per year for tuition (public universities start at an average of $7,000 per year), some have wondered if higher education is worth the sticker price.

These alarming statistics didn’t escape the attention of Lake Forest filmmaker Matt Helderman.

The Lake Forest College senior wrote, directed and co-produced “The Alumni Chapter,” a feature length film that explores post-college life during the recession.

At the movie’s start, 4 recent college grads reunite for a meal at their favorite college haunt. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience sees how the characters have struggled personally and professionally since receiving their diplomas.

“The direct inspiration I had for the film was the uneasiness I had regarding my own impending graduation,” Helderman says. “I was essentially unwilling to enter into the working world like friends I had seen before me.”

Hopefully, Helderman won’t have to work at a job he dislikes when he graduates this spring. He is currently entering the movie into film festivals in the hopes that he can find someone willing to distribute it nationwide.

So far, the reaction to the film has been overwhelmingly positive. “The reception from students both in high school and college has been solid so far,” he says.

And the North Shore proved to be solid supporters of indie films during production. “We had some food donations from Ferentino’s Pizza in Lake Forest for a few days of filming,” he says. “Glencoe, Northbrook, Highland Park and Lake Forest were all great when it came to getting permits. It was a long process that was made easier by the friendliness and willingness of people in the towns.”

You don’t need to wait to see the movie until it (hopefully) appears on DVD or in local theaters. On Saturday, February 19, “The Alumni Chapter” will premiere at the Portage Theater in Chicago. Get ready for the paparazzi—there will be red carpet event before the 8 p.m. screening and an after party.

Watch a clip of the movie here: