Short Film by Cozette '22 Earns Four Awards at World’s Leading Online Film Festival

Aug. 1, 2022

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Julianne Cozette '22 and her co-star earned four awards in the July Monthly Online Top Shorts Film Festival with her senior capstone short film, “Be Well.” 

Click here to watch "Be Well" (content warning: Film contains depictions of eating disorders and suicide) or check out the IWU Film Program on YouTube.

The short film was named Best Drama, while Cozette earned awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actress. Richard Diamond '22 also earned Best Actor for his role in the film. “Be Well” was also a finalist in the Best Indie Short Film category. Cozette and Diamond both studied acting at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Julianne Cozette '22 and Richard Diamond '22 star in the short film "Be Well," written and produced by Cozette
Julianne Cozette '22 and Richard Diamond '22 star in the short film "Be Well," written and produced by Cozette.

Cozette wrote, produced, and starred in “Be Well” alongside Diamond. Her film tells the semi-autobiographical story of two people who find love in a psychiatric hospital. 

“At its heart, it aims to illustrate the unique relationships people often make at the lowest points in their lives, and how those relationships save you, but are ultimately inevitably unsustainable,” she said. “It’s bitterly ironic yet heartfelt and real.”

The script for this short film was written in the 2021 screenwriting May Term class, taught by associate professor of theatre arts and head of the acting program Tom Quinn. “Be Well” was also featured in IWU’s 2022 Guerrilla Film Festival.“I have had the great pleasure of watching this film develop, literally from start to finish,” he said. 

Quinn directed “Be Well” and helped bring Cozette’s vision to fruition. 

“Julianne’s screenplay is deeply personal, highly intelligent and extremely well written,” said Quinn. “In addition, it offered several rich and challenging roles to her classmates.”

Cozette said this was her first experience working on a large film project and she found that getting to work with her fellow School of Theatre Arts students made the journey more enjoyable. In the future, she hopes to write more screenplays.

“It’s fascinating what kinds of stories are told best through certain mediums, whether that be film, theater, novel, audiobook, poem, what have you, and how all of those mediums will shift how the story is received,” said Cozette. “Film has a unique way of making everyday nuances and subtleties extremely clear and critical.”

By MJ Soria ‘25