Video by 2014 iNRB Film Contest Honoree Goes Viral; Surpasses 5M Views on YouTube

Matthew AblerA short film written, directed, and produced by Matthew Abeler, a second-year student at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, has attracted more than 5 million views on YouTube since going viral in early November.

His less than two-minute comedy, titled “Pass the Salt,” highlights the all too common practice of texting in the company of friends and offers an old-school solution. It features Abeler’s real life parents, Bill and Lisa Abeler, and two of his high school friends, Colin Welch and Paul Ripplinger. 

Inspiration for the film came as Abeler prepared last fall for a class speech he titled “Media Obesity: Technology and Relationships.” 

“The film is more about the value of relationships than it is about cell phones,” explained Abeler. “If I’m in conversation and whip out my phone, I am implicitly saying I value my phone friends more than I value you. That cuts deep. I hurt not only them, but also my ability to maintain long-lasting, tight-knit relationships.”

The film short earned honors at the Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters (iNRB) competition earlier this year and won Best Comedy at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul 2014 Five16 Film Festival.

From Upsala, MN, Abeler is a Communications major at UNW-SP specializing in film.  He is passionate about storytelling and hopes to someday produce fun, value-rich films for children.

To view the film short, click here.

By NRB Staff

Published: December 4 , 2014

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