Topics: College of Fine Arts, College of Communication Information and Media, Alumni

November 17, 2009

The nation's best film school without a film school just extended its reputation internationally.
"My Name is Jerry," Ball State University's first commercial film venture, won best film, best soundtrack and best supporting actress (Catherine Hicks) at the International Filmmaker Festival in Kent, England, besting more than 400 entries from 27 countries.
"I am humbled at all of the honors that 'Jerry' has earned thus far," said Rodger Smith, director of the university's Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education, and "Jerry's" executive producer. "Winning an international competition gives 'Jerry' and edge over other films, in that distributors will take a closer look at buying the film, and audiences will give weight to the festival's selection as they consider what DVD or download to buy."
"Jerry" also was nominated for best director (Morgan Mead, Ball State alumnus) and best actor in a leading role (Doug Jones, Ball State alumnus).
Securing such international accolades also helped raise the profile of Ball State's music technology program. Rick DiGiallonardo, the program's director, recorded, mixed and mastered all of the sound for the movie.
"With our state-of-the-art facilities on campus, we were able to do all of this in our own studios," DiGiallonardo said. "There are only a handful of universities that can make that statement."
The success at the international festival, which took place Oct. 26-29 in Kent, England, follows the movie's full-length feature official selection at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis.
"My Name is Jerry" also has played well on the festival circuit. Additional awards include:
Route 66 Film Festival — Best Feature Comedy 2009
accepted in the Tacoma Film Festival
accepted in the Grand Rapids Film Festival
Along with gaining notoriety for the film, these accolades mean that all who worked on the film can identify their contributions on resumes and for professional consideration, Smith said.
"For students, it means that an immersive learning experience of this kind paired them with professionals who can meet the standards of the film and media worlds — they learned from the best," he said. "That recognition, added to the experience of making the film, equaled a win-win for students — a professional credit from a learning environment."