SONScreen is the largest annual Adventist film festival, and 2016 was no different! SONScreen aims to encourage and promote Christian filmmaking. The festival puts the best Christian films on display in a contest featuring variety of genres. The festival was held in Chantilly, Virginia during the March 28-April 1 weekend. The closer locality to Southern’s campus allowed more than 30 students to attend the festival, many of whom had never attended a true-to-life film festival. Southern had the largest representation out of the other film schools attending, submitting short films, documentaries, and animation projects to the festival.
This year, Southern had a strong showing in the festival, submitting several projects across a range of class standings: everything from freshmen shorts to senior projects were accepted into the contest. The quantity and quality of work improves every year, a tell-tale sign of growth in the film department here at SVAD.
Southern won several awards for the quality work the students produced! Ricky Morgan, senior film major, won two awards for his documentary Hamilton County K-9: Best Documentary and People’s Choice Award, where the audience votes for their favorite film at the festival! Emily Mastrapa and Matt Webster’s senior project short film, Mary & Montgomery also won two awards: Best Screenplay and Honorable Mention for Best Dramatic Short. Sidney Tooley, also a senior film student, won the Jury’s Selection Award for her short film Sittin’ Pretty. Jason Dull, recent animation alumni, won Best Animated Short for his short film Nameless. Kevin Freeman, senior animator, was also nominated for Honorable Mention Animated Short for his animated sketch, Restricted Rhythm.
One of the memorable moments the filmmakers took away from the festival was when David George, SVAD Film faculty, presented a portion of a documentary about post-graduate life for film production alumnus. The documentary and presentation sparked meaningful conversation between filmmakers, and some of the festival attendees hope more presentations like that will be included in future events.
For more information about SONScreen, click here!