Storytelling Celebrated at Highbridge Film Festival
WILMORE, Ky. — Nearly 1,200 people gathered at Hughes Auditorium Saturday night for the eighth annual Highbridge Film Festival, an effort to express and explore the human condition through the power of the visual story. And though the genres ranged from animation to music video to documentary, the films in the festival communicated one message loud and clear: it’s all about the story.
“Stories bridge us to other people, other ideas,” said assistant professor Greg Bandy, one of the founders of the festival. “And stories bridge us to the most important story of all: God’s.”
The Highbridge Film Festival not only features films produced by students, but the festival itself is the project of a special events class at Asbury. Students handled each aspect of the event, from coordinating sponsorship agreements to promotional materials and the post-festival reception in the Miller Center for Communication Arts.
One high-school and 13 university films were selected from dozens of entries to be screened by a panel of industry judges and shown at the festival. This year’s judges included Peter Lehman, a composer, sound designer and mixer; Karen Covell, director of the Hollywood Prayer Network and cofounder and producer of an independent television and music production company; Brian Baugh, a director and screenwriter; and Janet Batcheler, a writer and professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
In addition to the judges’ awards, an “Audience Choice” award was given based on text-message and paper ballot voting at the festival. Senior Zach Meiners captured the honors with his film “Icarus,” a short film about an evil super-villain and his crisis of conscience.
“My inspiration for ‘Icarus’ actually came from life experiences and thinking about what it is like when you come to the realization that you do not like who you have become,” Meiners said. “’Icarus’ was a huge risk. Flying, explosions, building sets, designing and making the costumes, and even the fact that there are more than 30 people in the cast. More than 80 people worked on this movie, and they earned that award. I'm so happy for everyone involved.”
And the awards go to …
Best Cinematography: Aaron Holmes for “Presumption” (by Nathaniel Glass)
Best Actress: Grace Oliver for “Presumption” (by Nathaniel Glass)
Best Editing: Max Rechel for “Keep Your Head” (by Daniel Bowman)
Best Screenplay: Zach Meiners and Zack Brewer for “Icarus” (by Zach Meiners)
Best Director: Zach Meiners for “Icarus”
Best Special Effects: Zach Meiners for “Icarus”
Best Comedy: “Lawrence Declassified” (by Krista Dorrel)
Best Actor: Gabe Chandler for “Lawrence Declassified” (by Krista Dorrel)
Best Audio: Benjamin Groves for “Twirl” (by Nathaniel Winckler)
Best Music: Andrew J.S. Miller for “Twirl” (by Nathaniel Winckler)
Best Drama: “Twirl” (by Nathaniel Winckler)
Best Super Short: “Twirl” (by Nathaniel Winckler)
Audience Choice Award: “Icarus” (by Zach Meiners)
High-School Winner: “Inspiration” (by Abigail Henninger)
To watch winning videos from years past, visit the Highbridge Film Festival Web site and click on "Showcase."