DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Alumna Linh Tran's film to make Chicago debut

Student Indie Studio film released to big screens in Chicago, New York

‘Waiting for the Light to Change’ also set for digital release this fall

Young adults on a Michigan pier, a still from the film
DePaul students, led by Linh Tran, created "Waiting for the Light to Change" in the Indie Studio. It's now set for a theatrical and digital release. (Image courtesy of Linh Tran)

Ready for a movie night? Alum Linh Tran’s film “Waiting for the Light to Change” will have a limited run in theaters this fall in Chicago and New York, followed by a digital release. Tran produced the film as a DePaul student in the School of Cinematic Arts’ Indie Studio. The debut won the grand jury prize at the Slamdance Film Festival and has earned critical praise in Chicago and beyond.

Linh Tran and James Choi at the Chicago Critics Film Festival
Alumna and filmmaker Linh Tran and faculty member and executive producer James Choi pose in May 2023 at the Chicago Critics Film Festival, where "Waiting for the Light to Change" was screened. (Photo by Liliane Calfee)

The film will be shown Sept. 22-28 at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center. After several showings, Tran will offer a Q&A with actor Jin Park, producer Jewells Santos and executive producer and DePaul faculty member James Choi. More details are available online. Students who purchase tickets in-person at the box office will receive a 50% discount.

The film is also running in New York at Manhattan’s Quad Cinema until Sept. 21. In addition, the film will be available to rent or own on all digital HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms in North America, as well as on DVD, starting on October 20, 2023.

Last fall, Tran spoke with Newsline about the experience making the film at DePaul.

“Because we were a crew of students and were all learning, it felt like a weird form of liberation. It was up to us to create whatever we believed in. James and the school were supportive of our crazy idea to write a brand-new script and shoot it quickly, without much control on their end other than safety protocols. That was the most helpful and encouraging way DePaul helped our production,” Tran said.

Tran co-wrote the film with now DePaul alums Jewells Santos and Delia Van Praag. Other alum producers include Jake Rotger and Sam Straley.

“Waiting for the Light to Change” takes place over the course of a week-long beachside getaway. Set over several days in and around a lake house in Michigan, the film follows five twenty-somethings who gather for a small getaway in the early spring. But with little to do in the small, lakeside town, everyone finds themselves dealing with the sort of malaise that happens in one’s early-to-mid twenties: growing older, establishing a career, finding a purpose in life, going over past regrets, and anxious about what the future might hold. Learn more on Tran’s website.