Film by Albion woman debuts next month

Posted 29 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Romantic comedy is GCC student’s Honors Project

Provided photo – Rhonda Parker of Albion is pictured by the poster for her film, “Friends Don’t Let Friends – Date Friends”

Press Release, GCC

ALBION – Rhonda Parker has been making films since she was 17 years old, but much of her life is invested in a full-length feature she’s just completed as part of an Honors Program project at Genesee Community College.

The movie, “Friends Don’t Let Friends – Date Friends” will debut Nov. 7 at a VIP dinner and a movie night at the Bald Eagle Bistro, 1033 S. Lakeland Beach Rd. in Kendall. The event starts at 7 p.m. and seating is limited to 50. For more information on that event and other screenings, visit

Parker is a paralegal and communications/media arts student at GCC. She expects to graduate in December 2014. Besides being an Honors Program student, she’s been a blogger for the College and also won an essay contest sponsored by The Historical Society of the New York Courts, about which Professor Charles Scruggs said “Her acerbic wit, frequently on display in class, is used to good effect in her written work.”

That wit is evident in “Friends…” which Parker describes as a “highly fictionalized account of actual events.” The main character, played by former GCC student Amelia Favata of Canandaigua, is a version of Parker herself.

“It’s a very timeless story based on people I hung out with in my youth,” Parker said.

Though Parker has written and produced a number of short films, and appeared as a “Walmart mom” in a commercial, this is the first time she held auditions for a movie.

“It broke my heart to turn people away,” she said. Several current and former GCC students appear in the film. They shot the film over seven weekends at locations in and around Parker’s hometown of Albion.

Because it is an Honors Program project, she was able to utilize equipment from GCC including camera, tripod and lights. Her husband, Mark Parker, completed editing the film at their home with Sony Vegas Pro software. “He’s the editor and I’m the editor-in-chief,” Parker explains. “He’s the doer, and I’m the thinker.”

Parker has been thinking a lot about how to get the word out about her film.

“My goal is to have everyone in America see this movie,” she said. Beyond the dinner and a movie debut, she has lined up a number of additional screenings, including Nov. 8 at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church (where a wedding was filmed) and Nov. 9 at GCC in Batavia.

The Honors Program at GCC encourages independent, creative and interdisciplinary study through academic work of depth, originality and quality. Parker is more than pleased with her Honors experience and the film overall.

“It’s like watching your dreams come true right in front of your eyes,” she said. She hopes the film’s success leads to more moviemaking for her.

“That’s exactly what I want to do. I have a lot of scripts in my head.”