April 16, 2018

WCU & Cheyney 5-Minute Filmmakers to Earn Awards at Gala

Roll out the red carpet and open the envelope, please: Student filmmakers from West Chester and Cheyney universities are anticipating the April 19 awards ceremony for the best short films in the second annual 48HR Dub-C Film Race (48HRFR). The SOLD-OUT event begins at 6 p.m. in Sykes Student Union Room 10A.

A total of 13 films were accepted for the competition.

We had 28 teams enter … and 18 finished their films," reports Kanan Sawyer, WCU assistant professor of communications studies and one of the 48HRFR coordinators. Because students may join or withdraw from a team during the weekend, she did not have an exact number of students in the competition, but says, "We had nearly 80 people in our initial headcount."

The 48HRFR is a creative arts opportunity where students team up with friends and produce a short film – write it, shoot it, edit it, and produce it – in only 48 hours. WCU students were the sole participants in the inaugural competition last year and this year, all currently registered Cheyney University students were invited to compete. Student teams gather, pre-register, and then draw for key elements to feature in their three- to five-minute minute film.

Each team drew a genre (horror, drama, romance, comedy) and one of the following props that had to be clearly visible in their film: A West Chester Veterinary Medical Center T-shirt; a Dia Doce cupcake holder; a Local Yoga Café yoga mat; a Chester County Historical Society cookbook; a West Chester Film Festival 14th year poster; or a La Baguette Magique loaf of bread.

Scene board

The final element that every film had to include was a line of dialogue that came from a Hungarian proverb: "She who wakes up early finds gold."

The race took place Friday, April 6, through 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 8. This year's judges, who will attend the awards ceremony, are Armin Jahromi, a member of the board of directors and a screener for the West Chester Film Festival; WCU alumna Kendall Gearren '12, a freelance production coordinator; WCU alumnus Courtland Bragg '14, Emmy-Award-winning multimedia journalist; and Robert Fortunato, freelance production manager.

First, second, and third prizes receive cash awards and tickets to all or portions of the West Chester International Film Festival, plus a trophy. Other films will be honored for Best in Genre; Best Use of Prop; Best Use of Dialogue; and one film will earn a Special Judges Designation.

West Chester and Cheyney universities are coordinating the competition along with West Chester Together and the West Chester International Film Festival.