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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

URI’s annual film, video festival wins applause

KINGSTON, RI -- May 19, 2003 --From sexism to storms of the century, Visualizations, the University of Rhode Island’s Arts and Sciences 5th Annual Film and Video Festival Awards Ceremony held in April, nearly created almost as much excitement as the Academy Awards. URI students competed in seven categories: five film and video, film criticism, and original screenplay. A faculty director selected the top three entries within each area. An award for "Best of the Festival" was selected the last night of the festival.

"This was the best year yet," said Don Kunz, professor of English and this year’s master of ceremonies. "The material that achieved honorable mention could have easily passed for first, second or third place in previous competitions."

"It is amazing how significantly the films improve each year. The film program is really excelling in the craft on the production side," agreed Fred Joyal, URI class of 1979, who has provided a significant amount of funding for this year’s and previous festivals. "This is the level of competition we had envisioned when we first thought of starting the festival."
First place winners were awarded $400, second place winners $150, and third place winners were awarded $100. And the winners are:

Best of Festival and Commercials and PSAs: Dan Riordan of West Kingston and Dana Saint of Ashaway took home $500 and scholarships to the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Master Film Making class for their prize-winning commercial "Don’t Forget" for the Minolta Camera in the "Best of Festival Category." The pair also took first place in the Commercials and PSAs category, directed by L. Patrick Devlin, professor of communications.

Experimental Video: Sean Johnson of Warwick took first prize for his "Levels of Commitment." The film had a dark and erotic twist, by flashing reoccurring images of bondage and of wedding rings. Sheri Wills, associate professor of art, directed the category.

Open Category: Vince R. Johnson of Pawtucket took first place for his "Visual Matters." The film addressed the way women are sexually and violently portrayed in movies and showed clips supporting this premise. Alan-Phillipe Durand, assistant language professor, directed the open category.

Film Criticism Essay: Tyler Rentz of West Kingston won first place with his essay "GM workers: Pets or Meat? A Look at Roger and Me through the Eyes of Focault and Althusser." Nancy Cook, associate professor of English, directed the film criticism essay category.

Original Screen Play: Jeff Marino of Elizabeth, N.J. took top honors for his "If I Was the Priest." Upon receiving his award Marino said: "I was looking for an excuse to finish something I started, to have a cover and be able to write ‘the end’ and get paid for it." Judith Swift, professor of communication studies and theatre, directed the category.

Documentary: The first place prize went to "The Storm of the Century" by Jen Hawkins of Cranston and Amy Crussana of Westerly. The documentary featured the September 21, 1938 hurricane and its survivors retelling their experiences. The documentary category was directed by Mary Conlon, communication studies lecturer.

Animation: First place to Matthew Paquin of Wakefield for "Industrial Aesthetique," a short animated film that used sounds from the Block Island Ferry. Jerry DeSchepper, director of the Film Studies program, directed the category.

As a special feature Keith Brown, URI graduate of 1996, screened his production, "Tough All Over." Filmed in North Kingstown, a semi autobiographical film illustrating the experience of a middle school Rhode Island boy.

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