Highbridge Film Festival: Where Students Call the Shots

WILMORE, Ky. — The Asbury University campus will celebrate student filmmakers at the 8th-annual Highbridge Film Festival on April 20.

The film festival, an idea imagined by Greg Bandy and Jeff Day — professors in Asbury’s award-winning School of Communication Arts — was brought to life for the campus community in 2005. The event is dedicated to encouraging young filmmakers to express and explore the human condition through the power of visual story.

The film festival is held in Asbury's historic Hughes Auditorium.
The film festival is held in Asbury's historic Hughes Auditorium.

The Highbridge Film Festival is actually similar to a motion-picture production. The event is conceptualized and carried out by a group of students who are enrolled in the “Special Events Promotions and Productions” class taught by Bandy, who is also the festival director. This upper-level course provides students with a professional experience by dividing the class into four teams: PR/Marketing, Design, Video and Events. Each team plays a key role in promoting and producing this large-scale event.

“The students have gotten a bit of friendly competition going to ‘outdo’ the previous classes’ efforts on the festival,” explained Bandy. “It’s a lot of fun, but what I really appreciate is the commitment to excellence each of them seems to have about their individual responsibilities.”

The PR/Marketing Team works to promote the festival, secure sponsorships and generate excitement for the event. This year the team has concentrated its efforts using social media to give people a “behind the scenes” look at the process of putting on Highbridge with hopes that it will excite people to attend the event and support the filmmakers.

“The festival is a campus and community favorite,” said Cameron Hassler ’13, leader of the PR/Marketing team. “It’s truly something to talk and get excited about, and our team is enjoying creating the conversation and enthusiasm through traditional and social media.”

The Design Team is in charge of generating the 2013 Highbridge identity, which involves designing the festival posters, programs, tickets, banners and additional publicity materials.

“Being part of the design team for Highbridge this year has put me with a great group of talented individuals,” said Andrew Wingert ’13, member of the Design Team. “Our designs are a showcase of the film creators and their hard work and talents just as much as the films themselves reflect the people who created them. I felt like the best way to give back to campus and give back to their work was to celebrate everyone involved.”

The Video Team is responsible for producing various videos that will be shown before and during the event, revamping the previous year’s department film, a PSA, and the next year’s festival promo video.

"The video team has been working, since day one, to create videos that not only provide information about the event but also to inspire those in attendance to excitedly look toward future Highbridge Festivals,” explained Morgan Irish ’14, a member of the Video Team.

The Event Teams are responsible for planning and arranging Hughes Auditorium for the festival and the Miller building for a red-carpet reception after the films are shown.

“Miller is always the party place for the festival,” said Alisha Bynum ’13, leader of the Miller Team. “This year the Miller team is hoping that the guest is shocked as soon as they walk in the door. Ryan Sommers, Richard Rutledge, and myself have worked really hard to make sure that guest won’t be spending all their time standing in lines waiting on food.”

“The students have been working pretty hard on this festival since the beginning of the semester in January,” says Bandy.  “Whether their task is to market, design, film or organize volunteers, each team’s goal is to deliver an exceptional experience to the campus and community. We all want April 20 to be a night to remember.”

Visit the Highbridge Film Festival web pages to watch last year's winning film.