Ten students at the University of Central Arkansas took home awards for film projects they put together and submitted during UCA’s annual film festival event May 4.
Seventy-two films were submitted.
UCA Associate Professor of Digital Filmmaking Mike Gunter said the annual event — founded in 2005 and in its 13th year — takes place during finals week and highlights the best work of UCA students.
“Entries are viewed by the UCA digital filmmaking faculty who choose the films that will screen at the festival,” he said. “The awards are chosen by a panel of guest judges made up professionals in the industry.”
Gunter said the yearly project for students gives them an opportunity to share their work with their peers, family, friends and fellow filmmakers.
“It was a great event and we had a wonderful time,” he said.
Best Narrative (under five minutes) winner Daniel Wingfield won for his film “Lunch Break.”
Wingfield said “Lunch Break,” was about a man named Ted whose lunch keeps getting stolen from the office break room.
“That’s when things get a little weird,” he said. “[But], I wont spoil the ending — after a small festival run, I’ll post it online for public viewing.”
The idea, Wingfield said, came to him from a real-life situation.
“At an old job, there was a habit of things disappearing from the staff lounge refrigerator,” he said.
Wingfield said this year the festival saw the highest number of films submitted, so being one of the films selected, much less winning the award, was awesome.
“The other films were fantastic,” he said. “My fellow [graduate] students Mark Theideman and Donovan Thompson produced some phenomenal work as well. I was really proud to be featured alongside some really incredible filmmakers.”
Wingfield said this year was his first film festival to participate in at UCA.
“The UCA Film Festival is a great festival and it showcases some of the best work in central Arkansas,” he said. “I had an incredible cast and crew and were able to shoot the entire film in one, 10-hour day.”
Movies, Wingfield said, are incredible.
“There’s something about the moving story that captivates me like none other,” he said.
Wingfield said that cinema can transport a viewer anywhere and give a wide array of experience.
“The potential to entertain, to influence, is so high in this art form,” he said. “My goal is to find a way to share my stories with the world. Filmmaking is, in my opinion, the best way to accomplish that.”
Wingfield said he was thankful to be surrounded by such talented students this year in the film program on campus.
Katherine, his wife, said she was proud of her husband for the work he put in.
“He and his fellow classmates supported one another and worked hard this year to put forth these films,” she said. “Seeing their dedication and passions recognized is incredible.”
The 2017 UCA Film Festival winners include:
• Best Documentary - “Milky Way Mammals,” by Austin Curzon.
• Best Narrative (under five minutes) - “Lunch Break,” by Daniel Wingfield.
• Best Music Video/Experimental - “A Small World,” by Justin Farley.
• Faculty Choice Award (graduate student) - “Narcissus,” by Mark Thiedeman.
• Audience Choice Award - “Matriarchs,” by Rachael Asherman.
• Best Narrative (Jury Award) - “Mine to Tell,” by Whitney Butler.