Congratulations go out to Mike Wolenski, Andy Polack, Julie Kepins & Ashley Pierson and their film "Who Knows What 'Caitlyn May' Do..." The project was honored as the runner up in the short documentary division in the 2007 Iris Film Festival. Festival organizers featured "Caitlyn May" during Saturday night's screenings at the Clifton Theater in Huntingdon, PA. I'd like to offer congratulations to Penn State faculty member Jerry Zolten and his documentary "Roxie Moore: A Life of Song" which took the top prize.
I was impressed by the eclectic choice of entries in the various categories from filmmakers of all ages. Iris reaches out to the novice as well as the struggling filmmakers with $30,000 budgets trying to strike deals with Hollywood studios. We enjoyed meeting other college students with class projects as well as high school teachers with a knack for storytelling.
I also enjoyed hearing from Edinboro University's Brad Pattullo on stop-motion animation. Pattullo was gracious enough to share his current project with those of us in the audience-- an amazing stop-motion mockumentary about his craft.
Two gems I singled out in this event included an animated shorted called "Fish, But No Cigar" by Tara White and Lyn Elliot. My favorite of the entire festival was a wonderfully sincere story directed Alan Beck, a Bedford County high school teacher who recruited his students and fellow teachers as the cast. His movie, "Last Skate For Couples," is exactly what this kind of competition should celebrate. Beck provided me with a copy of his film to share with my students. "Last Skate For Couples" also took home the top prize for short feature.
The organizers of the Iris Film Festival marked their second year celebrating a diverse selection of projects created by Pennsylvania filmmakers. I look forward to submitting additional work from Westminster students in this up and coming festival.