From Campus Movie Fest to Cannes

It starts with a song. This is how Georgia State senior Jabriel McIntosh began his film, “Music Therapy,” which won best drama at the Campus Movie Fest.

Once the song was composed, it was then matched with the scenes in the short film. For McIntosh, the EDM version of Rhianna’s song “Stay” was his inspiration. In the film, the song featured was Bosa Mix composed by Ink and Vonte Vendetta.

“It was like uplifting, but at the same time sad. I kept listening to the song saying dang, I like this.”

The five-minute short film is based off of people’s lives. It shows how some of these people are struggling, but once music comes into play, everything changes.

Jabriel McIntosh took home CMF awards for the second year in a row.
Jabriel McIntosh took home CMF awards for the second year in a row.

The idea came to McIntosh very simply.

“I just realized music really affected everyone around me.”

Each person featured in the film has a story that relates to the arts. For instance, the break-dancer character wanted to be a doctor, but instead he chose his passion—dancing. The skateboarder could not get on the same level as his parents, so he now lives on his own.

Through music, their problems are not resolved, but it helps all of the people featured in the film through their struggles—it’s “music therapy.” The film also took place on Broad Street around Tin Drum and Moe’s.

This was not McIntosh’s first year winning something. Last year, he worked with his brother on the film “Seven” and won best director, best editor, and best actor. They were then sent to Hollywood for the first time.

The short-film was such a success that it was featured at the Cannes Film Festival in France. They knew they would not be able to make it because of the expenses, but they were still proud nonetheless.

Since the movie fest had a set schedule, McIntosh did not postpone filming because of the “snowpocalypse.” But it did cause some issues in terms of production for Music Therapy, such as actors that needed to be replaced.

The longer the film was postponed, the trickier things became.

“The more you shoot, the more terrible things happen. People cancel. If you can just get people for two days straight, then you can just knock it out,” McIntosh said.

“Music Therapy” took two days to shoot, with over 35 people helping with production and three to four days to edit.

McIntosh’s love for film began when his brotheroverbooked two videos. Not able to do both, McIntosh took over one video and it all started from there.

“Last year when we did it, my brother convinced me. [I was thinking] man, I’m not a filmmaker, I can’t do this,” McIntosh said.

But after working for several different companies that pay minimum wage, McIntosh decided he did not want to work for anyone.

“Just knowing whatever you get paid, it just drove me crazy,” McIntosh said.

“I need to make my own path.”

McIntosh won 'Best Drama' and 'Best Director' at CMF
McIntosh won ‘Best Drama’ and ‘Best Director’ at CMF

Film is not McIntosh’s major, but considering the credits he already had, he did not want to change his major from marketing.

Today, he and his two brothers, Shakil McIntosh and Javier McIntosh, own and operate McIntosh Productions. They film and photograph weddings, commercials, short films and celebrities such as Kid Cudi, Gladdis Knight and Steve Harvey.

McIntosh explained that he grew up doing anything he set his mind too. He gives his parents credit for allowing him to use and show off his creativity.

“My dream is to direct a film, but I want to mix up the fashion with it,” McIntosh said of his future plans.

“I want to inspire people and let them know they can do anything in life.”