Films win big over summer - The Echo News
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Films win big over summer

Taylor’s film department takes home multiple awards this summer

Senior Elyse Horb, Hanson Reed (’16), Abbie Brewer (’16), Ashley Young (’16) and Assistant Professor Kathy Bruner show off their new awards.

Senior Elyse Horb, Hanson Reed (’16), Abbie Brewer (’16), Ashley Young (’16) and Assistant Professor Kathy Bruner show off their new awards. (Photo provided by Kathy Bruner.)

By Laura Koenig | Echo

Summer-drained students usually leave the past school year behind, preparing a clean slate for the next few months. But for a group of Taylor film students, this summer brought awards and recognition for their hard work during the 2015-16 school year.

A group of film students started their summer by receiving nominations for student production awards given by the Emmy organization. Three films were nominated by the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences. The films were placed in two different categories: student arts and entertainment and student long form.

“When the Game Changes: A Playbook for Perseverance,” created by Abbie Brewer (’16), Ashley Young (’16) and senior Jamie Bell, won first place in the arts and entertainment category. Their film tells the story of an athlete returning to play football after an accident that immobilized his arm.

Their production also won top student film at the International Christian Visual Media conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, and screened at The Hoosierdance Film Festival in Kokomo, Indiana, and The Northam Film and Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio.

“I’m really blown away at the amount of attention our film has received over the last couple of months,” Bell said, reflecting on the nine festivals that screened their film. “It feels really good to see people respond in such a positive way to this film, especially with the amount of time and effort we put into making it.”

The other arts and entertainment nominee was “The Blue Flash: A Midwest Coaster Story,” produced by David Stallard (‘16) and seniors Austin Yoder and Daniel Ford. Even though they did not receive a top award from the Emmy Organization, both The Hoosierdance Film Festival and the Hobnobben Film Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana, selected the film to screen. Yoder and Assistant Professor of Film and Media Production Kathy Bruner attended Hobnobben and spoke at a roundtable discussion about filmmaking.

“The Glassmakers: Exploring an Indiana Tradition,” produced by senior Elyse Horb, Hanson Reed (’16) and A.J. Abolg (’16), took the win in the long form category over two films from Ball State University.

“It’s been an amazing summer to have all of these recognitions and to go back now and be able to add those award laurels to all these posters and then reprint them in the hallway,” Bruner said. “It’s such a blessing to work with students who are of this caliber and who do such amazing work. Just to be able to shepherd them through the documentary filmmaking process is a great privilege for me.”

Along with these three films from Taylor’s Documentary Filmmaking class, “The Unknown Country,” produced by Alex Cook (‘15), Jonathan Eshleman (‘15), Erin Fuhr (‘15), Mike Metzler (‘15), Conor Olstad (‘15) and Austin Hable (‘15) won Best Student Film at The Hoosierdance Film Festival. This film was created in Assistant Professor John Bruner’s narrative filmmaking class in spring of 2015.

Reflecting on this summer’s accomplishments, Kathy Bruner referred back to Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created . . . .” The film and media department tries to follow God’s footsteps as they shoot, edit and engage in the creative process.

“(The awards are) a testimony to God’s faithfulness and his blessing upon these students and their program but really on their storytelling abilities,” Kathy Bruner said. “The Lord’s given those to them and then we cultivate them while they’re here. We just try to make sure that we give the glory back to God.”

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