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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Monday, June 24, 2024
The Echo

Envision brings students and film critics together

By Braden Ochs | Echo

Hosted by Taylor's Film & Media Production program and Taylor's Center for Faith, Film & Media, the Envision Film Festival is a three-day event including workshops, film showings and an awards presentation for Taylor student filmmakers. The festival goes from March 1-3, including a screening event open to the public on March 2.

"The festival is the highlight of the year for Taylor's Film & Media Production program, honoring what our alumni judges deemed the best work of the year in student filmmaking," said Kathy Bruner, assistant professor of film and media production. "It's always a joy for the faculty to celebrate our students' achievements."

The Taylor film department is welcoming three guests for the festival. They will be featured in various workshops throughout the festival. The guests include Josh Larsen, Mike Edwards '95 and Deb Oyer.

Larsen is the co-host of the WBEZ radio show and podcast "Filmspotting," as well as the author of the book "Movies are Prayers." Edwards ('95) is the Emmy award-winning director of the PBS documentary "Searching for Augusta" and the owner of 5 Stones Media in Columbus, Ohio. Joining him will be Joel Hammers, a cinematographer and gaffer who works regularly alongside Edwards. Oyer was the production coordinator on the NBC television show "Chicago P.D." among others.

"The festival is also an amazing learning experience for our students," Bruner said. "Our special guests bring years of experience and share it so graciously with our students. This year we're thrilled to have a well-known film critic as well as three exceptional professionals who make exceptional film, television and video work."

The festival also includes an awards ceremony highlighting the year's best in Taylor student filmmaking and showcasing the winner of the high school competition. According to Bruner, Taylor's Film & Media Production program has won more than 250 external awards in the last ten years, including CINEs, Tellys and four Crystal Pillars from the regional Emmy organization.

A few Taylor film students are a big part of the Envision planning process, including junior Jackie Hanson, co-producer and filmmaker for the festival.

"I'm excited for Envision because it will be the final step of the process we have been working on for the past few months," Hanson said. "Taylor students who are not in the major get the chance to experience their filmmaker classmates' passions and talents which, I think, is one of the best things about Envision. We, filmmakers, get the chance to share our passions with those who are there. It's truly been a humbling opportunity; I'm ready for the screening tonight."

The community is warmly welcomed to today's screening event at 7 p.m. in Rediger Auditorium. Tickets are available at the door. Ticket prices are $3 for Taylor I.D. cards and $5 for general admission. For more information, visit