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TFS Student Film “The Blink of an Eye” Wins at LA Film Festival

In this guest blog post, the cast and crew of the award winning film “The Blink of an Eye” talk about their choice to follow their dreams for careers in Film and their recent trip to Los Angeles where their film won the “Best Romance Short” award at the Temecula Independent Film Festival.


Left to Right: Kearsten Johansson (20), Harrison Reynolds (21), Jyothi Tatter (21), Matthew Luppino (20)
Left to Right: Kearsten Johansson (20), Harrison Reynolds (21), Jyothi Tatter (21), Matthew Luppino (20)


David Mamet once described an acting career (much like that of a filmmaker) to winning the lottery. Not because there’s a one in a million chance at getting it, but because, in order to win the lottery, you need to first buy a ticket. In acting, writing and filmmaking, your ticket is making the choice to chase your dreams.


We “bought our tickets” at age 17 (Kearsten Johansson), 18 (Matthew Luppino) and 20 (Jyothi Tatter & Harrison Reynolds) when we decided to follow our passion and each applied for Toronto Film School.


After 18 months in the Acting for Film, Television & Theatre program and the Film Production program we then bought another set of tickets. This time they were plane tickets to Los Angeles, California to see our dreams become a reality, at the international premiere of our film The Blink of an Eye.


This inspiring film about a young girl’s struggle to find strength in the face of ovarian cancer, premiered at the Temecula Independent Film Festival, where it won the “Best Romance Short” award.


The Blink of an Eye started as a student project while we were at Toronto Film School. It is based on the writer/director Matthew Luppino’s friend from high school who tragically passed away from ovarian cancer in her senior year. It follows the story of main character Grace, performed by Kearsten Johansson, during her struggle to find strength with the help of her loving and devoted boyfriend Ben, performed by Harrison Reynolds.


The film was shot by Jyothi Tatter, Director of Photography and created with a cast and crew of Toronto Film School students (present and alumni), who are all pivotal to the film’s success. With this touching story based on true events, we hope to inspire those dealing with similar hardships to have courage and faith.




We’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who sponsored and supported the film from pre-post production, as well as the Temecula Independent Film Festival for their support, kindness and the experience of a lifetime.


Words from the cast and crew:

Matthew Luppino




“From the ashes, we will rise. This award goes to all the underdogs who worked so hard to make this film a reality. I am so proud of everyone who contributed to this beautiful project as well as Toronto Film School for the great support!


I am so proud to know that Mikaela’s legacy has inspired so many people around the world! She always wanted to be famous! This Los Angeles trip was the best experience of my life! I met so many great people there and I am very lucky to have shared the great experience with some of my cast and crew! I look forward to moving there soon to pursue my dreams professionally. Thank you Mikaela Scurto, for bringing me to your beautiful City of Angels. It’s been a long road Mik, but I now have your faith and I know everything will be okay.”


Kearsten Johansson

Lead Actress



“I first met Matthew on set for a student project during my time at Toronto Film School. After having the opportunity to work with him and many others involved in “The Blink of an Eye” on a few different films, he sent me the script noting that he would like me to play main character, Grace. I read the script with tears in my eyes as he told the story of his friend, Mikaela Scurto’s passing.


I instantly said yes to the project. Stories like this one are the reason I became an actress. I’ve always said I want to be involved in artistic works that can touch an audience, with a deep and powerful message. It was an absolute honour to represent Mikaela and be a part of the creative process that brought her story to life. To the entire cast, crew and sponsors of the film, I cannot thank you all enough.”


Harrison Reynolds

Lead Actor



“A truly great experience to share with such amazing, talented friends and collaborators. I think I speak for us all when I say our mentality has been completely reinvigorated now that we have witnessed first hand what hard work and perseverance can get you. Chase your dreams. Chase greatness.”


Jyothi Tatter

DOP/ Cam Op



“If you were to ask me when I started this journey if I was going to win an LA film festival, I would tell you maybe in my dreams. Never did I think the film would go so far and touch so many people. This experience really opened my eyes and taught me so much. Spending time with the same people who made this film come to life was crazy. It got us thinking about bigger opportunities and future goals. I felt like there was inspiration all around me. I’m pretty sure this is going to be the best year of my life, if it isn’t already.


Sometimes I think I’m too sensitive for this, but if I don’t do this I won’t do anything ever, and there are worse things than opinions. Opinions don’t really matter so long as the people who stand beside you are good. For anyone who cares about my work, don’t let your dream die. Store all of your hurt and suffering in your memory bank. All of your pain, all of the loss and fear… believe me, it pays off. Channel all loss. Harness it, it’s a gift, It’s yours, use it as a tool, equip yourself with it, fight for your dream. The goal is to be larger than life.”


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