News & Events

Annual Showcases Honor Student Filmmakers

By Rachel Judy

August 21, 2015

Students receive awards.

Students receive awards for entries in the yesHeis Film Competition at the Student Film Showcase.


To date, Regent University student films have won 290 awards both nationally and around the world. While the exposure is a "must" for aspiring filmmakers, it is often the praise and admiration of one's own peers that provides both professional and personal encouragement. With this in mind, Regent began its Student Film Showcase, held each spring by the School of Communication & the Arts.

The 26th annual showcase was held Wednesday, April 25, in the Communication & Performing Arts Center. The showcase gives students a chance to relax and celebrate another year of excellent filmmaking. Students submit their work and faculty select a group of films for the showcase. Awards for producing, directing, editing and writing are among the honors presented during the course of the evening.

"Giving students the opportunity to compete provides an incentive for them to produce the best films they can and to be recognized," explained Dr. Mitch Land, dean of the School of Communication & the Arts. "It means a lot to our students to be recognized in a very public way for the hard work, dedication and commitment to craft reflected in their films."

According to the dean, Regent students created more than 200 films during the 2011-12 school year.

Awards were presented to graduate and undergraduate cinema-television students, including Timothy Kay (Directing, The Silver Crown), Jacob Wright (Producing, The Silver Crown), Jared O'Dell (Best Actor, The Fetter Affliction), Ashley Manning (Best Actress, The Fetter Affliction), Mary Ahlman (Writing, The Fetter Affliction), Mark Belcher (Cinematography, Perspective), Nyckole Russell (Producing, Zipper Heads) and Justin Garcia (Editing, Motion Boy).

Students were also recognized for their entries in the yesHeis Film Competition. The film competition provided the opportunity for students currently enrolled in communication and the arts courses at Regent to make a short film (2 to 5 minutes) eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship to Regent University's School of Communication & the Arts (for graduate degrees) or School of Undergraduate Studies, in addition to $500 worth of production-related equipment.

The following students won awards from Kyle Mason (Best Writing, The Greatest Award), Joseph Armstrong (Best Editing, Variance), Nathan Stump (Best Sound Design, Broken), Zack Yokum (Best Cinematography, Pursuit), Alesia Baum (Best Acting, Sounding Brass), Andrew McPherson (Best Directing, Pursuit), Jared Anderson (Best Picture, Variance), and Sommerly Simser (Most Popular on Facebook, Hollow Heart).

Monday, April 30, was a chance for animation students to celebrate their work. The annual animation showcase, which started in 2007 with just five pieces, has grown to this year's showing of 54 pieces of work from undergraduate animation students.

"It's just kind of one of those small events that has a big impact because a lot of times, it's the first time they've been able to show their work in public," explained Peggy Southerland, director of the Department of Animation. For many of the animation students, this is the first time their work has been evaluated in competition with others. "The world's competitive; they have to know that their work is going to be judged against others," Southerland added.

The submissions were voted on by the audience. A Smooth Criminal by Christy Cooley and Coming Achoo by Justin Garcia received honors in the 3-D category. Pharaoh's Dream by Christopher Cavanaugh and Scary Cotton 2 by Justin Garcia received awards in the 2-D category. Thinking Outside by Justin Garcia and Jon Hargreaves vs. the World by Jon Hargreaves won in the Compositing & Editing category.

Learn more about an undergraduate degree in animation.