Norfolk State has many connections to Hollywood including Valente’ Frazier ’98, Emmy Award-winning makeup artist; Tim Reid (Sister, Sister, WKRP in Cincinnati, Frank’s Place); and Denise Dowse (90120, Ray and The Call). Now, we can add yet another alumnus – Ethan Marten, class of 1987. Marten majored in journalism and sought out Norfolk State after leaving the College of William and Mary.
“The cost of tuition was a bit of a challenge,” said Marten during a recent interview. He says he was waiting tables at a restaurant in Norfolk and one of his customers told him about NSU and possible scholarship assistance. “I thought I might be able to finish college after all. I qualified that afternoon and have never looked back.” His move to NSU has paid off in big dividends. Marten has produced a new movie film titled, Eyes of the Roshi, set to be released sometime in 2016.
Eyes of the Roshi is a karate action flick about the choices we all have to make in life. The good, bad, ugly and the indifferent. From the trailer, it looks like a dark film, with a slow-burn story line that’s full of twists and turns. The film stars Ngoc Xuan Nguyen, (Master Adam), Ethan Marten (Carey) and Eric Roberts, Julia Roberts’ brother, playing Booker. Marten was vice president of marketing for Atlantic Film Studios – touted as Virginia’s first full-service motion picture production studio. Today, he is the president and CEO of Virginia-based Light Age Films. During his long career, he has produced or executive produced 17 episodes of television, 14 motion pictures including White Buffalo: An American Prophecy, and the sci-fi thriller Atlantis Down.
“NSU played an integral role in my life and my education.” Marten said that he started the journey by seeking to complete his degree in journalism. “My professors were tops in their field with experience working for dailies and covering historical events for Life and Look Magazines.” He said that Professors Earl Clanton and Linda Scanlon were old school and full of journalistic integrity. “During NSU’s 50th Anniversary celebration, a host of wonderful speakers and celebrities such as Rosalind Cash, Roscoe Lee Brown and Tim and Daphne Reid entertained the audience,” Marten reminisced. The Reids invited him on stage and the rest is history.
As an actor, Marten has been featured as John Todd Jr. in the PBS episode of Dolly Madison on The American Experience; John Taylor in First Landing for ABC Family; Irving Berlin in George Lucas’s Young Indiana Jones Chronicles for ABC Television; in Hollywood Pictures’ Eddie, and more than 40 motion pictures.
To view the trailer for Eyes of Roshi, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR5ClUSIQXo&feature=youtu.be.