Hartford, Conn., May 8, 2012 – An estimated 300 people came out to festivities surrounding the inaugural Trinity Film Festival, highlighted by twenty-three short films by undergraduates from around the country, screened at Cinestudio on Saturday, May 5. The prestigious film panel praised the quality of the works at an awards reception following the screenings, before choosing their top selections: University of the Streets (Prequel) by Bryan Felber (New York University) took the top award of $1,500, while second place ($1,000) went to Brian Plungis (Trinity College) for his film, Four Miles, and third place ($500) went to Julian Beltran (University of Texas at Austin) for his film Pissin in the Wind. Ronnie Rios (New York University) was voted as The Audience Choice Award winner for his film, Reed.
The red carpet affair was met with high praise from the filmmakers, the judging panel, and audience members alike.
“The coolest part for me was being able to come out from a place that is completely different - Trinity is a beautiful college and they held a remarkable film festival,” said student filmmaker Cole Sax, who flew from Utah for the event. “It was a privilege to see other student works from all over - it means a lot to me and everyone else. I only hope to see the festival grow, which I know it will.”
Sax won the "Screener's Award" for his film 88 and Sunny. Brian Castelluccio (Trinity ’12), a neuroscience major and supporting actor in Anson McCook’s Smartphone: Intervention, which was also screened at the Festival, said the event was the best he’s attended at Trinity.
“Of the many campus events that I have attended throughout my four years at Trinity, both student-initiated and otherwise, this festival will stand out as the finest display of both student professionalism and Trinity resources,” he said. “The Festival reminded our fellow undergraduates across the country that Trinity College is a venue in which film and the arts can thrive.”
The judging panel was led by Mary Buck, former president of the Casting Society of America and a two-time Emmy-nominated caster; James Hanley, co-founder of Cinestudio; Brian Hayes Currie, writer and actor; Rob Brink, a filmmaker and lecturer in film; and Dr. Michael Walsh, co-founder of the cinema department at the University of Hartford.
The Festival earned public endorsements from director Stephen Gyllenhaal ’72
, and actor/writer D.B. Sweeney
, who began the festivities on Thursday, May 3, with a screening of Eight Men Out
, in which he starred, followed by a Q&A at Cinestudio.
The new Trinity College Steel Band welcomed the audience and filmmakers to the catered reception, where filmmakers had an opportunity to discuss their work before the judging panel announced their decisions and answered questions from the students.
“I am proud of how the film festival turned out,” John Michael Mason ’12, senior director of the Festival, said. “All the feedback has been extremely positive, which reinforces my confidence that we have established a strong groundwork for the future of this event.”
To keep up to date on the latest news from the Trinity Film Festival, including submission information for future Festivals, follow on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TrinityFilmFestival
For more information, visit: www.trinityfilmfestival.org