Oakton’s film studies teacher premieres his fourth feature film


Smith’s film showing at the Wilmette Theatre last June

Nicholas Jordan, Production manager

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the concept of going to out to the movies was in danger. Streaming dominated, and many feared that movie theaters would permanently close. Luckily, we are now at a point where the medium of cinema can once again thrive.

Oakton film studies teacher Michael Glover Smith is currently premiering his fourth full-length feature film in local theaters.

Relative is an independent film, meaning it doesn’t have the creative restrictions or multi-million dollar budgets that Hollywood films have.

Smith originally intended for cinematography to be filmed in March of 2020.

But due to the pandemic, production was halted for around 13 months. This came to be somewhat a blessing in disguise as this allowed Smith to slightly revise his script and make it the final product that we see today.

Smith’s film tells a story of a north Chicago family all coming together to celebrate a college graduation of the family’s youngest.

Grandparents, living in the Rogers park area of Chicago have two sons living at home with them. One, 22 and about to graduate college. The other 34, divorced with a son and living back at home.

For the occasion, their two older sisters come to visit. One with her wife and daughter, from Wisconsin. And the eldest sister, coming solo from Iowa.

The film is a bit of a mix of a coming to age tale, and a drama, with comedic elements peppered in.

These elements of storytelling combine to exemplify the arguably perfect recipe for the independent film genre.

Oakton student Ishana Patel saw the film with fellow classmates and said she enjoyed it. “I could really relate to the characters and I liked how realistic the portrayal of depression and mental health was. The more I think about the film, the more I gravitate towards it,” said Patel.

With scenes filming within Oakton’s district, Smith encourages local viewers to spot out locations that were used in the film.

“I think independent film will be the salvation of the theatrical experience” said Smith.

Link to the official trailer below.



Find tickets or a way to watch at their website.