The Broadcast Education Association announced student and faculty awards for their annual Festival of Media Arts competition last month.
The 2023 Best of Festival Winners, along with second-place, third-place and “awards of excellence,” were awarded for each category of the contest, with over 1,650 total entries ranging across the categories.
Steve Bailey, assistant professor of Film and Media Production, along with students (seniors Heidi Dalton, Isaac Bouw and Trevor Cebulskie), secured the highlight of the event for Taylor. The group of faculty and students took home “Best of Festival” in the mixed/pedagogical category for film and video.
Their film, “The Deaners of Fairmount,” was one of 20 “Best of Festival” winners at the contest.
“Steve Bailey’s win for The Deaners of Fairmount is the biggest standout (of the competition),” said Kathy Bruner, department co-chair and professor of Film & Media production.
The film focuses on the fanatics of Fairmount, Indiana's very own James Dean, a famous actor who was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 24 in 1955. Today, the town still celebrates the icon, including a museum dedicated to him and an annual festival in his name.
“We put in a lot of effort to maintain our relationships with the subjects of our story and to create a narrative that accurately represented them and captured others interest,” Bailey said. “We drove to Fairmount a couple times a week to film while concurrently editing a compelling story.”
Taylor students also received three 2nd-place awards for entries into the competition.
Senior Trevor Garbo won 2nd place in the “Audio Drama/Comedy” category for his production, “Beast of Upland.”
Senior Andrew Neal won 2nd place in the “Sound Engineering & Production” category for “Thankful.”
Seniors Nicole Birkey, Emily Crosier and Blake Faughnan also won a 2nd place award, this time in the “Short Doc” category for their production, “Six Feet Above.”
Students also took home three 3rd-place awards fronm the competition, as well as six “awards of excellence,” which are akin to honorable mentions.
Former Echo staffers Amelia Bostick and Holly Gaskill won an award, along with Ashley Moore, for a podcast entitled, “Airband.”
The Film & Media program enters a variety of festivals and competitions throughout the year as a way of both showcasing the work of their faculty and students and highlighting progress that has been made.
“Contests and film festivals are an excellent way to benchmark the work we’re doing,” Bruner said. “When you see that our work can win against very large and noteworthy programs in the nation, it’s a confidence boost to current students and a mark of quality for prospective students. Competition wins are also a plus for seniors putting together their portfolios.”
The BEA Festival of Media Arts is one of two national competitions that the department enters for audio, radio, TV, film and video projects each year. In addition, they also enter a statewide competition and a number of film festivals throughout the year, both regional and national.