Emily Pawlowski | Echo
When looking at the greats, it can be hard to choose the best.
But that is exactly what judges did Friday, March 8, as the Envision Film Festival presented awards to Taylor filmmakers.
The biggest surprise of the night came when the audience choice was announced. There was not one, but two films announced. "Beauty in Affliction" and "W200" received an identical number of votes, so they shared the prize.
Overall, the biggest winners of the night were "Gratitude" and "Beauty in Affliction," which both won for three categories.
"Gratitude" won for best cinematography and best picture. Senior Brad Walker won best actor for his role as the main character, Wes.
"I had so much fun filming, and I saw close up how hard the team worked to make this project a success, so I was honored to receive the award," Walker said. "No actor looks good without the insane work that goes into the story, dialogue, directing, cinematography, producing, etc. from the film students. I'm always in awe by the work that they do."
Besides tying for audience choice, "Beauty in Affliction" received an award from the humanities and arts category, as well as the prize for best nonfiction.
Other award-winning films included "What Remains," which won for sound design and best screenwriting. "W200" also took home the prize for best editing. "Grow Up Sometime" won for best music video.
There were also two high school student-produced films shown. "Franklyn" was produced by a group of students at the summer film academy. "Words of the Son" was the winner of the high school category of the competition.
These films were included to encourage future filmmakers to get involved with the Taylor Film Department. For some, like sophomore Tim Hudson, who wrote and directed "W200," it was one of the things that drew them to Taylor.
"I submitted my film called 'The Digit' to the high school category when I was a high school senior, and it actually won best picture," said Hudson. "I came out to Taylor with my dad for Envision that year."
The other entries in the high school division were shown the next day at their own screening.
Win or lose, the students appreciated the chance to show off their work.
"Envision Film Festival is such a testament to the crazy amount of talent at Taylor," said senior Jake Vriezelaar, who wrote and directed "Gratitude." "I truly believe stories can change the world and the students here believe that too."