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Students win national film awards

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@chronicle-tribune.com

Taylor University film, media and computer science students received recognitions at the 2019 Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Art, a digital media and broadcast competition for both faculty and students.

Kathy Bruner, a film and media production professor at Taylor, said the department has participated in BEA in the past, but took a short hiatus before returning to re-engage in this year’s national competition.

According to the BEA website, the festival awarded 295 entries from more than 300 schools and more than 1,500 annual entries from around the world. Bruner said students and faculty entered work in 13 different categories in the festival and considers winning something in six of those categories to be a wonderful result.

“We’re incredibly proud that Taylor students are successfully competing at the national level with much larger schools,” she said.

According to a press release from Victoria Lawson at Taylor, the awards were given in various categories such as audio, documentary, film and video, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting, sports and small colleges, with subcategories in each.

Along with 17 Taylor students and two staff members who helped with the film, Bruner also received an award for her documentary, “Last Year at the Crossing.”

“Our team is so happy to be recognized in this way,” she said.

Caitlin Gaff and Alec Ellsworth tied for first place in the Multimedia Sound Design category, Gaff and Micah Stewart received third place in the Spots category and Christopher Gearhart placed first in the Instructional/Educational Category, according to the press release.

Hannah Goebel, Patrick Linehan, Niko Hays and Rebekah Hardwicke won third place in the Longform Video or Film Documentary category, for the documentary “Cos Wars: More than a Hobby.” Bruner said this film had already won a student production award from the regional Emmy organization.

Geobel said she’s “very excited to have another recognition for a film that we had so much fun making.”

Hardwicke said it’s an honor just to be included in the national competition itself.

“So winning an award was a real treat and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my group and teachers,” she said.

The students have taken courses in both the digital media and computer science major areas.

The BEA is held so that it overlaps with the National Association of Broadcasters’ Convention in Las Vegas in April, Bruner added. She said the NAB is the industry’s largest trade show for media equipment and Taylor faculty and staff - herself, John Bruner, Steve Bailey and Josh Taylor - will attend the NAB this year to receive these student and faculty awards in person.