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Lee Holds 48-Hour Film Friendsy

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Lee University recently hosted its third “48-Hour Film Friendsy,” which welcomed 28 Lee students, as well as a competing alumni team and a Walker Valley High School team.

Lee’s Beecher Reuning, assistant professor of cinema, along with cinema student Stephanie Larche, organized the event. Matthew Fisher, associate professor of communication, and Corinne Lothers, also a cinema student, assisted Reuning and Larche.

“This is my favorite event all year,” said Reuning. “It epitomizes two basic tenets of filmmaking: creativity and collaboration. There is something beautiful about taking projects, assignments, and careers out of the equation and ju st spending two days getting back to visual storytelling for the sake of fun and fulfillment.”

After a weekend of work, the teams each successfully completed a film less than six minutes long. The screening and awards party brought in approximately 125 guests. Each film was judged by a panel consisting of Rob Alderman, entrepreneur and CEO of the Alderman Group; Jenna Kraft, novelist and author; and Britain Miethe, a self-proclaimed movie critic and fanatic. The judges celebrated each team’s work and gave out two awards, the C.U.P (Creative Under Pressure) Award and the BFF (Best Frantic Filming) Award, to the highest-achieving films.

Each team was randomly assigned a genre, given a small wooden hammer as a required prop, and a line of dialogue: “You can’t win every time… or can you?” Films were judged based on creativity, use of dialogue and prop, and technical skill.

Lee’s cinema faculty assembled four teams of student filmmakers and assigned each a coach. The volunteer coaches included Kimberly Lyon, lecturer in journalism; Megan Moe, professor of communication; April Reuning, part-time faculty; and Rondall Reynoso, assistant professor of art. The Walker Valley team was coached by Lee alum Ethan Evors.

Moe’s team won the top prize with its film “Going Gray,” in the spy genre. The team consisted of Lee students Delight Ejiaka, Victory Giet, Sydney Harris, Alexis Larson, Nathanael Lirio, Jacob Opperman, and Gunnar Sabo.

“The 48-hour Film Friendsy is one of the best opportunities to really be risky in your creativity,” said Giet. “When you pull it off, the film can be groundbreaking, but when you can’t, it will be incomplete. I was so proud of how hard our team worked, and, with so many talented people competing, winning was like the cherry on top.”

The alumni team won the C.U.P. with their project, “Eyes on the Prize,” from the genre treasure hunt. Team members included Matt Cole, BJ Faircloth, Nate Powers, Noah Rodden, and Ethan Wright.

For more information about Lee’s Communication Arts, call (423) 614-8341.

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