A feature film from JPCatholic
Two rival acting students are forced to reconcile their differences and play lovers Romeo and Juliet in their final school play, vying for a life-changing prize.
O, Brawling Love! is the inaugural project in JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program. Written by senior screenwriting student Bella Lake, the project was selected from a pool of nearly 50 story submissions from alumni and students. Directed by alumna Maggie Mahrt (‘10), production took place over several weeks in summer 2022 in Escondido and surrounding area. Over 50 JPCatholic students were involved in the production both on and off set, with each stage of the process built into the curriculum.
The film premiered at the Ritz Theater in Escondido on August 24, 2023, and will be available for streaming later this year.
August 25, 2023
The Shakespearean-inspired rom-com is the first project in JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program.Learn More
June 29, 2022
The inaugural project in JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program finished filming in Escondido on Tuesday.Read More
June 2, 2022
The first project in JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program began filming today in Escondido.Read More
May 6, 2022
Maggie Mahrt (‘10) will return to JPCatholic to direct the inaugural project in JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program.Read More
February 16, 2022
O, Brawling Love!, written by senior screenwriting student Bella Lake, has been selected to be produced as the inaugural project in JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program.Read More
October 19, 2021
Over the past two months, students and alumni submitted 45 stories to be produced as part of JPCatholic’s new Feature Film Program. This weekend, nine of those projects were pitched to a faculty panel in front of a live audience.Read More
March 10, 2021
JPCatholic is excited to announce the Feature Film Program, a revolutionary model of education that will integrate feature film productions into our curriculum. This platform will provide students the opportunity to collaborate with alumni and professors each year in bringing a new film to life.Read More
An alumna of JPCatholic (‘10), Mahrt is an award-winning film director with nearly a decade of experience creating original content in the narrative and commercial space. Her senior capstone project at JPCatholic, Chow Bella, took home the Audience Award at San Diego Indiefest. After graduating, Mahrt worked for three seasons on NBC’s supernatural cop drama Grimm as Executive Assistant to showrunner David Greenwalt. In 2016 she was selected as one of eight women by the American Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women, through which she wrote and directed the award winning short film Unbound. She has directed original content for brands such as Disney Digital, Paramount Studio, Babble, Tongal, Toyota, Bank of America, The Bouqs, and Leo Diamonds. Mahrt was also a participant in the Fox Filmmaker Lab, The Ryan Murphy Half Program, Lifetime Shadowing program and a two time writing fellow in the Story Incubator.
Prof. George Simon
Prof. George Simon
Prof. George Simon is the Chair of Communications Media at JPCatholic. He founded the Feature Film Program in order to integrate large-scale, hands-on productions into JPCatholic's curriculum every year. Simon is a filmmaker who studied for two years at Central Michigan University in the broadcasting and cinematic arts program before transferring to JPCatholic to complete his undergraduate BS and MBA degrees. While pursuing his BS degree, he created the award winning short film 'Get Clean' promoting the sacrament of reconciliation. With his brother Joe (MBA 2010), he launched 'Simon Brothers Productions' - an independent production company specializing in narrative film and live-event coverage. He went on to produce content for New Evangelization Television and has worked on film sets, international documentary crews, and many commercial projects. Most recently, he has finished production on an indie feature film, “Don’t Get Eaten”, produced with his wife and filmmaking partner Melinda Simon.
Eleazar is a born and raised Southern Californian with a love for film, people, and faith. He is a JPCatholic alumni (‘21) who graduated with a BS degree in Communication Media (emphasis in Production). He brings a wealth of experience from his time in JPCatholic’s film program.
Prof. Chris Riley
Prof. Chris Riley
Chris has been instrumental in developing the script for O, Brawling Love! and working with Bella Lake throughout the rewrite process. A veteran of the Warner Bros. script department, Riley is the author of The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style. From 2005 through 2008, he served as director of the acclaimed Act One Writing Program in Hollywood, which trains Christians for careers as writers and executives in film and TV. Chris holds a BS in Telecommunications from Oral Roberts University and was a National Merit Scholar. His credits include After the Truth, an award-winning courtroom thriller written with his wife, Kathleen Riley; 25 To Life, a dramatic thriller for Junction Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures; The Other White House, a political thriller for Sean Connery's Fountainbridge Films and Intermedia; Aces, an action-adventure romance for Paramount Pictures; and a screen adaptation of the book Actual Innocence for Mandalay Television Pictures and the Fox television network. He has taught screenwriting at JPCatholic since 2007.
Bella is a senior in JPCatholic’s screenwriting program (class of 2022). Bella transferred to JPCatholic from Franciscan University after earning her Associates degree. She has always loved writing stories and creating lovable characters through her writing and drawing, and is excited to see her story O, Brawling Love! come to life.