ADRIAN, Mich. (WLNS) — As the Adrian International Film Festival approaches, one of the featured film’s actors is preparing to make his return home.
Christopher Studenka, who grew up in Michigan and graduated from Sexton High School in Lansing and later Central Michigan University and Lansing Community College, stars in “Run Rabbit,” a film he also helped produce.
The film is a neo-noir, directed and written by Justin Rose, about a vigilante who hunts down child abusers. Studenka plays a character caught in the vigilante’s path, and is conflicted about whether to intervene or to allow him to inflict justice from beyond the confines of the law.
“It’s not a snappy Marvel movie,” Studenka explains. “It’s a dark drama where the audience must not be distracted.”
“Run Rabbit” was a small production created by Studenka, Rose, and fellow actor Greg Wave. The trio began work on the project in spring 2021 and filmed in Arizona.
Shooting the film was completed over the course of six months. Working with almost no budget, the crew of mostly close friends had to be highly dedicated.
They would sometimes work in blistering 100 degree plus temperatures as they filmed scenes in the desert.
While it will make its Michigan debut at the Adrian International Film Festival, it has already been screened in festivals across America and Europe, winning several awards. It was also featured in filmmaker Kevin Smith’s Smodcastle Film Festival in New Jersey.
Studenka, who now lives in Arizona full time, recalls his burgeoning acting career beginning by chance. Before getting into the film industry, Studenka worked in higher education and was an avid marathon runner.
His athletic hobby is what led to him modeling products for a running gear catalog. Being cast in the photoshoot led him down a pipeline of other opportunities, from auditioning to commercials and other film products.
“I thought maybe I have something I’ve never explored before,” Studenka said. “I didn’t do formal classes, but I did a lot of reading and a lot of studying on my own.”
After a number of small acting gigs, Studenka eventually met his “Run Rabbit” collaborator Rose, acting in his 2020 short film “Red Velvet Evening.”
Studenka will be at the Adrian International Film Festival’s screening of “Run Rabbit” on Saturday, April 22, where he’ll participate in a Q&A session after the film.
“I’m excited to return to Michigan. It’s a chance to come back and share this film with my family and friends,” Studenka said.