Highbridge Film Festival News


2015 Highbridge Film Festival Winners

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Best Sound Mixing 
Kelly Ootsman – “Marvin the Melon”


Best Sound Editing
Kelly Ootsman – “Marvin the Melon”


Best Original Score
Jake Halm  – “Hangman”


Best Editing
Ken Lutz – “Friend Zone”


Best Special Visual Effects
Ken Lutz and Jake Theriault – “The Hollow Sun”


Best Cinematographer 
Timothy Nolan Hodge ­ – “Marvin the Melon”


Best Actor TIE
Bryce Hockema – “DAnny”
Evan Boggess – “Friend Zone”


Best Actress 
Catie Lien – “DAnny”

Best Screenplay 
Philip Lambert – “DAnny”


Best Director – Undergraduate Student
Will McBride – “Stolen Hearts”


Best Director – Graduate Student
Aaron Bohn –  “Friend Zone”


Best Drama
Philip Lambert – “DAnny”


Best Comedy
Kyle Thiele – “Marvin the Melon”


Best Super Short
Aaron Bohn – “Hangman”


Best Documentary
Julia Chin – “It’s Not About the Cake”


Audience Favorite TIE
Philip Lambert – “DAnny”
Taylor Diehl – “Unexpected Miracles”


2015 Films Selected for The Highbridge Film Festival

The following films have been selected for screening at the 2015 Highbridge Film Festival. The vetting committee had to choose from nearly 50 entries to determine this year’s films. It was not an easy task. We greatly appreciate the efforts of every filmmaker and encourage you all to continue making movies.  Filmmakers will be contacted via e-mail regarding their passes.

Hangman – Aaron Bohn

Hedgehog USA – Andrew King/Aaron Winneroski

Friend Zone – Aaron Bohn  

Cloudy – Bayly Shelley

The Hollow Sun – Jake Theriault

The Gallery – Jake Theriault

Stand In – Jonathan Davis

It's Not About The Cake – Julia Chin

Marvin the Melon – Kyle Thiele

Danny – Philip Lambert

Useless as Grant – Timothy Hodge

Unexpected Miracles – Taylor Diehl

Stolen Hearts – Will McBride

Labor Pains – Zach Cooper


Asbury University Engaging Culture Weekend April 23–25

Asbury University’s Engaging Culture Weekend will showcase concerts, special speakers, film screenings, workshops, art shows and the Highbridge Film Festival April 23-25. 

The weekend kicks off Thursday, April 23, with Senior Art Exhibitions from the Asbury University Art Department by Ben Marchal (Ceramic Sculpture), Daniel Royster (Painting), Sarah Guinn (Ceramics) and Mary Beth Cunningham (Photography). Times and locations can be found on the schedule of events.

The weekend’s fine arts events will continue that same evening with an entertaining and diverse concert, Sounds of Stage and Screen, at 7:30 p.m. in Hughes Auditorium. Six student ensembles of the Asbury University Music Department will participate: Orchestra, Women’s Choir, Men’s Glee Club, Chorale, Handbell Choir, and Concert Band. The 90-minute program is free and open to the public.

Director of Bands Dr. Glen Flanigan notes that this event is a favorite both with audience members and student performers, “Our musicians enjoy the opportunity to perform repertoire from films and screen productions, and this event has for several years been a favorite with our campus and community audience."

The repertoire will be from a wide variety of productions, including Jurassic Park, Pride and Prejudice, Star Trek, and Shrek among many others.

On Friday, April 24, Erik Lokkesmoe, President of Aspiration Media, a film distribution company and the owner of Different Drummer, a premier marketing and publicity agency for studio and indie films. will be the speaker for the Engaging Culture Weekend chapel.

Special communications, film and acting workshops will also be presented throughout the day on Friday April 24, by Peggy Kim, Jason Epperson, Kathy Campbell and Lokkesmoe.  Unless otherwise stated, all workshops take place in the Screening Room on the third floor of the Miller Communications Center or The Greathouse Theater and are open to the public. You can find the schedule of events here.

The weekend will conclude with the 11th Annual Highbridge Film Festival in Hughes Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., April 25. Asbury alumni, friends, and the community are welcome to attend this highly anticipated event.

“This event could not take place without the incredible creativity and efforts of our students,” said Professor Greg Bandy. “Besides producing the event, we have numerous students creating the films for the actual program. I am still amazed at how many creative, hard-working people it takes to make this happen.”

The film festival is entirely produced and promoted through the combined efforts of the Communication Arts Department’s Special Events class. While the film festival honors the creativity and excellence in storytelling of Asbury’s student filmmakers, it is also open to submissions from high school students. The high school film winner’s entry will be screened at the festival and receive a $1,000 scholarship to attend Asbury.

Highbridge Film Festival is a community-wide event that is open to the public. The $15 admission price includes the film screenings, the award ceremony, and the Red Carpet Reception in the studio of the Miller Center for Communication Arts. Tickets for the event will be avaliable to purchase on April 13 in the University's cafeteria during lunch and dinner hours or online.


Episode 1 of Highbridge Highlights

On the first edition of Highbridge Highlights, host Autumn cole sits down with past Highbridge Award winner Nathaniel Winckler.

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Episode 2 of Highbridge Highlights

Professor Greg Bandy joins Highbridge Highlights to talk about the history and vision of the Highbridge Film Festival.

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Episode 3 of Highbridge Highlights

On this edition of Highbridge Highlights, Brownrygg Wools gives us a glimpse into the creative process through the storyteller's eyes.

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Asbury Students Prepare for 11th Annual Highbridge Film Festival

Highbridge Film Festival is set for April 25

WILMORE, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Asbury University will open the doors of Hughes Auditorium to honor its student filmmakers at the 11th Annual Highbridge Film Festival that will take place at 7:30 p.m., April 25. Asbury alumni, friends, and the community are welcome to attend this highly anticipated event.

“This event could not take place without the incredible creativity and efforts of our students,” said Professor Greg Bandy. “Besides producing the event we have numerous students creating the films for the actual program. I am still amazed at how many creative, hard-working people it takes to make this happen.”

The 11th Annual Film Festival is entirely produced and promoted through the combined efforts of the Special Events class’ Public Relations, Video, Design and the Miller and Hughes Event teams.

While the film festival honors the creativity and excellence in storytelling of Asbury’s student filmmakers, it is also open to submissions from high school students. The high school film winner that is selected will be screened at the festival and the winning student will receive a $1,000 scholarship to attend Asbury. Each film entry will be reviewed by professional judges from the film industry.

Highbridge Film Festival is a community-wide event that is open to the public. With each ticket, guests are granted admission to the film screenings, the award ceremony, and the Red Carpet Reception in the studio of the Miller Center for Communication Arts. This year, guests can anticipate a street-party theme along the building’s studio-set aesthetics.

For more information about how to submit a film, click here to visit the submission page.

NOTE: Seating for media is available upon request. If you would like more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Abigail Foster by email at abigail.foster@asbury.edu.


Behind the Scenes: Higbridge Film Festival

Asbury Students Plan and Produce a Formal Affair

WILMORE, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Asbury University’s Special Events class will be coordinating and hosting the Highbridge Film Festival on April 25. Open to students and the community, Highbridge has become one of the most anticipated on-campus events of the year.

“Each year, I’m amazed in different ways as to what each group of students brings to the class in terms of creativity and effort,” said Professor Greg Bandy. Extensive planning and execution from the class go into the production of the festival.

“Each member of the class has a desire and passion in the teams we are working on,” said event administrator and class member Caiti Maumenee, “This festival experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the outcome will make a huge impact on not only the school, but the community as well.”

The Special Events course is set up to function as a fast-paced studio environment. Students are assigned to one of five teams; Public Relations and Marketing, Design, Video, Hughes Film Festival and the Miller Red Carpet Reception. Each group has an established set of professional responsibilities to be accomplished before, during and after the event. These tasks are connected to each student’s career interest and area of study.

“All 18 students in the course work together to make this a great experience for each guest that comes through the doors of  Hughes Auditorium. Every year, our goal is for the Highbridge Film Festival to be a sold out show,” Bandy said. For those who cannot attend the event, a live online broadcast will also be available to be streamed through the Highbridge Film Festival Web site.

Tickets for the Highbridge Film Festival will be $15 and go on sale April 10, on campus and online. Visit the ticket page for more information.

Note: For more information on what the special events class is planning or if you would like to schedule an interview, please contact Abigail Foster by e-mail at abigail.foster@asbury.edu.


Asbury Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Highbridge Film Festival

Highbridge Film Festival set for April 26th

Wilmore, Ky. – Asbury University’s leading student filmmakers will be showcased at The 10th Annual Highbridge Film Festival, April 26, at 7:30 PM in Hughes Auditorium. The event, open to campus and community guests, has become one of the largest annual attractions for the university.

In honor of Highbridge’s 10th anniversary, Asbury University has invited back any past participants, and alumni who were involved in the Special Events class or had a film screened at the festival. “We’re hoping to see as many Highbridge alumni as well as other filmmakers and departmental alumni return to the anniversary of our event,” says Professor Greg Bandy, festival director.

“Our students have really made this a signature event for the school,” says Bandy. He teaches an upper level “Special Events Promotions and Productions” class that enables advanced students to learn every aspect of promoting and producing a large event at a professional level.

Since 2005, Highbridge Film Festival has been commemorating the achievement and creativity of student filmmakers from Asbury and also screens top high school submissions from around the country. If a high school film is selected for screening, the student automatically receives a $1,000 scholarship to attend Asbury.  “The quality of the films has risen dramatically since Professor Jeff Day (Theater/Cinema Performance) and I started the festival nine years ago. And that was the goal, to help develop better storytellers,” says Bandy.

Over 1,200 people fill the seats of Hughes Auditorium to screen selected films, which are judged by film industry professionals.  The event is open to the public and admission is $15 per ticket. Tickets will go on sale on campus and online two weeks before the event. Visit the website for more information.



WILMORE, KY. — What began as an experiment in 2005 continues to inspire the creative talents of Asbury University students — and the friends and families who support them — as the 2013 Highbridge Film Festival demonstrated this weekend.

More than 1,200 people packed Asbury’s historic Hughes Auditorium Saturday to view 13 Asbury student films and one high-school film that had been screened by professors in the School of Communication Arts. A panel of industry judges recognized several films within this group for further distinction.

Judges for this year’s festival included Christopher Bessette, a director of films such as “Trade of Innocents” and “The Enemy God”; Lana Corbi, former CEO of The Hallmark Channel’s domestic channel; Brian Godawa, a director, author and screenwriter of the film “To End All Wars”; and Rodney Charters, cinematographer of all eight seasons of the hit show “24.”

For Erik Thein, director of “Comfortable,” the Highbridge Film Festival came directly on the heels of a positive reception for his work at the Floyd Film Festival in Louisville earlier this month. With two successful festivals under his belt, he plans to continue to seek broader exposure for the film.

“We successfully raised about $460 on Indiegogo.com for ‘Comfortable,’ so with that money we will submit to several festivals around the nation, including The Heartland Film Festival and The Atlanta Film Festival,” Thein said.

Each of the films in the Festival falls in the “short film” genre and is limited to eight minutes for narratives and documentaries, and three minutes or less for a super short. As in years past, the diversity of subject matter and perspectives demonstrated that the official purpose of the Festival — to express and explore the human condition through the power of the visual story — captures both the personal and universal.

In addition to featuring student films, the Festival is put together by students, as well. Each spring, a class called “Special Events Promotions and Productions” plans each aspect of the event. This includes the event's graphic identity, marketing, promotional video productions, staging and the visual theme at the reception that follows the screening.

Junior Morgan Irish created a documentary for Highbridge, “Swing Out,” in addition to working on a video promotion of the film festival for the production class. Seeing the process from both sides was both time-consuming and satisfying.

“Between producing ‘Swing Out’ and planning for Highbridge (which included producing the PSA that was featured), Saturday evening's event represented about 75 percent of all my work and effort this semester in just three concentrated hours,” Irish said. “As we all walked out of the Miller Center at 2 a.m. after cleaning up, I felt extremely proud to be associated with all those who helped make Highbridge possible. They were amazing people to work with.”

And the awards go to …

Best High School Film Entry
Aaron Winneroski (“Buddy”)

Best Screenplay
Erik Thein (“Comfortable”)

Best Cinematography
Zachariah Haske (“Blessèd Veil”)

Best Sound Editing
Phillip Jackson (“Charged”)

Best Sound Mixing
Isaac Blade (“Blessèd Veil”)

Best Editing
Brownrygg Woolls (“Free Flowing”)

Best Original Music Score
Shelby Watson (“Comfortable”)

Best Special Visual Effects
Erik Thein (“Comfortable”)

Best Actress
Rebeca Robles (“Made Up”)

Best Actor
Andrew Hunter (“Comfortable”)

Best Documentary
“Free Flowing,” by Brownrygg Woolls and “Swing Out,” by Morgan Irish (tie)

Best Drama
“Blessèd Veil,” by Isaac Blade

Best Comedy
“Charged,” by Nathaniel Winckler

Best Super Short
“Charged,” by Nathaniel Winckler

Audience Choice Award
“Charged,” by Nathaniel Winckler



Batchler, Baugh, Covell Selected as New Judges while Lehman Returns for Second Year

WILMORE, KY. – The Highbridge Film Festival Committee has named the members of the 2012 Festival Judging panel. Industry professionals Ms. Janet Batchler, Mr. Brian Baugh, and Ms. Karen Covell, all of Los Angeles, Calif., join the Highbridge Film Festival Judging panel for the first time. Mr. Peter Lehman, Orlando, Fla., returns to the Highbridge Film Festival after serving as a judge at last year’s festival. This year’s festival will be held at Asbury University’s Hughes Auditorium on Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 PM.

“The judges are a critical part of the educational aspect of the film festival. We want industry professionals critiquing and judging our students films,” says Greg Bandy, one of the founders of the Highbridge Film Festival.

In addition to her teaching post at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Batchler is a well-respected and accomplished writer in the film and production industry. Batchler, along with her husband and partner Lee Batchler, are well known for their scripts “Smoke and Mirrors”, “Batman Forever”, and “My Name is Modesty.”

Baugh is a director and screenwriter with more than 15 years of experience in the film industry. He is best known for directing the teen drama “To Save a Life.” He desires to tell stories that inspire audiences, foster justice and healing, or expand wonder and imagination in the world.

Covell is a television producer, director of the Hollywood Prayer Network (HPN) and co-founder and producer for JC Productions, an independent television and music production company. She has worked on many television productions, including “The Two Lives of Carol Letner” and “Players or Pawns.”

Returning for his second year, Lehman comes to the Highbridge Film Festival as an accomplished sound designer, mixer, and composer. His work on Braveheart garnered an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing and an MPSE Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Effects Editing. Lehman’s screen credits also include works such as; Mulan, The Prince of Egypt, Jerry McQuire, and Homeward Bound.

The Highbridge Film Festival Planning committee is excited to welcome these four professionals to Asbury’s campus to take part in the film festival. The judges serve as an important part of the festival, sharing their wisdom in more ways than just judging films. “We bring them in not just to judge, but to hold special workshops for all of our students, workshops that all of our student body can attend,” said Bandy.


2008 Highbridge Film Festival featured on Lexington Herald-Leader writer Rich Copley's blog

Rich Copley, writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader, wrote about the 2008 Highbridge Film Festival in his "Copious Notes" blog on April 27, 2008. Read his entry here.

2008 Highbridge Film Festival Winners Announced

The following news article was first featured on www.asbury.edu.

WILMORE, KY-On April 26, the Highbridge Film Festival dazzled more than 1,400 attendees with a Hollywood-style showcase of Asbury College's best student produced films. Decked out in their best attire, students and friends of the College streamed into Hughes Auditorium for a night filled with action, drama and side-splitting comedy.

The films weren't the only student work displayed during the evening. Since January, 18 students in Prof. Greg Bandy's special events class have been organizing the three-day Engaging Culture Weekend, which culminated on Saturday evening. The winners for the fourth annual Highbridge Film Festival are:

"Visceral" by Brock Smith-best drama, audience favorite, best cinematography, best audio, best editing and best special effects.

"Pencil Me In" by Austin Brooks, Ben Corwin and Jack Brannen-best comedy and best script.

"Just the Right Mix: The story of the Nougat Café Band" by Marshall Young and David Stillwell-best documentary.

"Shower" by Justin Morton -best super-short.

"Showdown" by Nick Lavenice and Katrina Hudson-best original score, which was composed by Anna Sperger

"Attempt at a Memoir" by Elisa Platillero-high school competition winner receiving $1,000 scholarship to Asbury College.

Released: May 2, 2008


2007 Winners of the HighBridge Film Festival are Announced.

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2007 Highbridge Film Festival.

Best Drama
Fire - Director by Whitman Bussey

Best Comedy
I Love Lacey - Directed by Chris Lawson and Graham Richardson

Best Screenplay
I Love Lacey - Written by Chris Lawson

Best Cinematography
Favor - Directed by Tyler Hisel

Best Audio
Favor - Directed by Tyler Hisel

Best Editing
Favor - Directed by Tyler Hisel

Best Original Musical Score
Fire - Composed by Whitman Bussey

Best Super Short
Forgotten - Directed by Chris Lawson and Whitman Bussey

Audience Choice Award
I Love Lacey - Directed by Chris Lawson and Graham Richardson

High School Winner
sqWISH - Directed by Molly Hoy and produced by Elisa Platillero

High School Winner
Rebirthing - Music video for Skillet, directed by Daniel Tyler