Travis Hatfield, filmmaker Kevin Smith, and Samuel Day (l-r)
Receiving the award was particularly significant after the 2005 gold medal win—the first for a college or university in Indiana—by Jaron Henrie-McCrea. "We knew what winning two years in a row would mean to Ball State," says Day. "We're now on the map. People in Los Angeles know the university produces quality films."
What makes Ball State's student recipients unique is the collaborative and supportive environment in which they create. While many of the films in the contest feature professional actors, Ball State's award-winning films showcase the talents of theatre and dance majors and also draw upon the skills of students from different academic colleges for roles such as screenwriter, coproducer, and director of photography. Throughout the project, the Center for Media Design fosters their efforts and nurtures their creativity.
"It takes more than one person to make a film, and we picked the people who cared most about the project," says Hatfield. "Every member of the crew, no matter how big or small their part, can say this is ‘my movie' because each person put a great deal of effort into it."