Students Recognized for Excellence in Filmmaking

by Brianne Martin '13

The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) recognized eight Azusa Pacific University student films for its 2013 Festival of Media Arts. The eight films were produced by 17 students in the classes Cinematic Aesthetics, Cinema-TV Production II, Advanced Documentary Production, Advanced Cinema Production, and Production Capstone.

The Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-winning faculty and student works. Each year, students submit scripts and video projects for competition. More than 1,100 films from 130 schools were entered in this year's festival. APU tied for second place with San Francisco State University and University of North Carolina, each with eight films honored. Below is a list of the award-winning films and students from APU:

“...our students’ success is a testament to the quality of our faculty and, more important, the students themselves.”

Student Video Competition—Narrative

  • 1st Place: Kaleb Tuttle, Zack Evans, and Brian Hartley for Mama’s Boy
  • 2nd Place Tie: Ryan Lagerstrom for Expiration Date
  • Honorable Mention: J. Tyler Shaw, Britainne Pedersen, and Emily Womelsduff for Eye of the Beholder: A Comedy in Three Parts


  • Honorable Mention: Kyle Hobkirk, J. Tyler Shaw, and Alex Ring for We Present: Episode 9

Student Two-Year/Small Colleges Competition—Video/Broadcast Production

  • 1st Place: Peter Thom Hall, Phillip Hall, and Whitnee Sherman for Cats
  • 3rd Place: Stephanie Silliman for I Wanna Be a Cowboy!
  • Honorable Mention: Carlos Solorzano and Leon Bosket for Forgive Me

Student Documentary Competition—Short Form Documentary

  • Award of Excellence for Editing: Emily Womelsduff for Steam Vision

“It’s important for APU cinema students to participate in intercollegiate film festivals for several reasons,” said Thomas Parham, Ph.D., co-chair and professor in the Department of Theater, Film, and Television. “First, excellent films demonstrate the success of APU’s curriculum, which emphasizes the importance theory and criticism make when training students in cinema production. Second, since festivals like BEA are not affiliated with a religious organization, this proves our students can compete on a level-playing field with some of the best film schools in the country. Finally, our students’ success is a testament to the quality of our faculty and, more important, the students themselves.”

In the 11-year history of the cinematic arts major, three student films have received Best of Festival awards from the BEA and dozens more have received honors from a variety of film festivals. Graduates of the Cinematic Arts program have a reputation for success in the entertainment industry, working with studios, networks, production companies, nonprofit organizations, and churches, like alumna Lauren Guerard ’11, who served as a visual effects coordinator for this year’s Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture, Argo. Also, alumni Ricky Staub ’06, Anders Lindwall ’07, Dominic Laing ’08, and Jeremy McDaniel ’09 are key affiliates at Neighborhood Film Company, a production company they formed that received the Overall Winner award this year at the inaugural Philly DoGooder Awards.

Awards from this year’s Festival of Media Arts will be presented at the BEA’s national convention April 7-10, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.