Article by Bailey O’Malia | Owl Staff
Sundance, The Cannes Film Festival, The Oscars…The Screech Awards?!
Each semester, The Screech Awards showcase the intense work that film and audio students have put into their media projects.
Mass Communications professor Wayne Hepler has been toying with the idea for a while, and with the initiative and help from professors Matt Bochniak and Dan Rappazzo, they have collaborated to create the cinematic event that is The Screech Awards.
The award ceremony takes place once a semester, and winners in the fall semester go on to compete against the spring entries. The awards and screening last about two hours and feature several films typically ranging from about ten to fifteen minutes in length. Each film has a unique perspective exclusive to the student who created it. Rappazzo says topics “can be anything from documentaries, horror, action, character dramas, (or) music videos. They usually cover all the bases.”
Professionals in the industry, as well as past students vote for the nominees. Students who create the winning projects are given a chance to discuss their creative process, and the awards are a platform for getting their films out to the rest of the student body. “It is important to support fellow students by coming to see the projects they have put so much time and energy into over the course of the semester” says Rappazzo.
After attending the awards last semester, I was at the same time disappointed and astounded.
I was disappointed that much of our student body is unaware of the Screech Awards, and astounded by how talented my friends and classmates are in both film and audio.
The ceremony had a clear winner: the short film Men of Science by Azman Toy and Zach Myers.
The film took home awards for Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Writing (although the film makers claim they hadn’t even prepared a script prior to filming), and Best Film.
While Men of Science practically stole the Screech Awards, there was a possibility that the movie might have never existed. “At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it,” Toy confesses. “But then I decided to just go for it!”
Halfway through filming, lead character Mike Bachman was struck by a van and broke his leg. With this, they learned that “you [have] to be flexible; that [the film] is never going to be your ideal.”
The winner for Best Audio Documentary went to Daniel Kelly and Everett Glovier. The documentary featured fellow student Richard Desire and a very comedic discussion regarding marijuana use.
I cannot encourage my fellow students enough to attend The Screech Awards. It is a much-needed spotlight on the creativity of our very talented classmates who deserve the support of the student body.