Asbury Alum’s Film Wins Critical Acclaim

Clay Hassler's family, including his wife, Tiffany Walz '08 Hassler, parents Eric and Debi Hassler and sister Cameron Hassler, attended the ceremony in Los Angeles.
Clay Hassler's family, including his wife, Tiffany Walz '08 Hassler, parents Eric and Debi Hassler and sister Cameron Hassler, attended the ceremony in Los Angeles.

“The Planeteer,” a children’s film written and directed by Asbury University alumnus Clay Hassler ’08, won first place in its category at the 32nd College Television Awards in Los Angeles this past Saturday.

Hassler wrote the film for his thesis at The Florida State University, where he graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts in 2010. While at Asbury, Hassler had films accepted in the first four Highbridge Film Festivals held at the University. This year’s Highbridge Film Festival will take place on April 16.

“The Planeteer” tells the story of an imaginative 11-year-old boy, Bradley McGuire, who has big plans to someday sail around the solar system. When NASA loses contact with the crew of a Mars-bound mission, Bradley’s fascination and interest in all things “space” proves to be the key to unraveling the mystery. “The Planeteer” stars Austin Trace of Los Angeles, Greg Homison of New York City and Riley Moran of Orlando, Fla. Hassler's parents, Eric and Debi, spent three weeks in Tallahassee during production last April, building Bradley's bedroom on the sound stage at FSU.  Hassler’s sister, Cameron, is a sophomore at Asbury University.

Hassler lives in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he is an assistant professor at Wake Forest University and is in pre-production for his next two projects, a feature-length film and a documentary about the Winston-Salem neighborhood of Ardmore. His wife and fellow Evansville native, Tiffany Walz ’08 Hassler, is the assistant director of the Student Union at Wake Forest, and she will produce Hassler’s next two films.

The College Television Awards are sponsored by The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation in Los Angeles, California. Hassler’s wife, his parents and his sister attended the dinner, awards presentation and reception at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood.

Presenters at this years’ awards ceremony included Elijah Wood, Jane Lynch, Geena Davis, Terrence Howard and many other television and film celebrities.

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