Regent receives top prize at Poe Film Festival

Photo taken by Scott Goff from University Marketing. 

Of the 23 colleges and universities that participated, Regent came out on top.

Last November, Regent competed in the Poe Film Festival’s College Film Awards, held in Richmond. According to one of their Directors, Brain Weakland, the Poe Film Festival’s mission is “to inspire filmmakers in the vein of Edgar Allen Poe’s story structure. It is creative, original, building in intensity, and strives to create an emotion in the audience.” Two Regent films won top prizes: Grand Prize for Jarrod Anderson’s “Changing Jane” and Best Screenplay for W. Adam Burdeshaw’s “Until Death Do Us Part.” Both films were featured at last year’s Regent Film Showcase.

This was the second annual College Film Awards, and they only expect to get bigger this year, inviting 30 schools from across the state of Virginia and D.C. “Film festival involvement is essential to Regent University’s engagement of the film industry and film professionals,” says Professor Vince Williams. “Winning the Best Film and Screenplay awards speaks to the hard-work and dedication of the students and the faculty that has set up a system that they can thrive in.” At this year’s Poe Film Festival, Nov. 3, they will be inviting employers to help connect the students with networking opportunities.

Films like “Changing Jane” and “Ticking Hearts,” a Regent film directed by Alumni Nick Moon that was nominated for multiple awards, struck a chord with judges for their emulation of Poe’s structure. “You see rising tension, intensity, and the twist at the end,” said Weakland. “[Poe’s structure] is important in today’s film world where things are formulaic and don’t make the audience feel anything when they leave the theater.”

The festival allowed Regent students to impact the film industry through their expert storytelling. “The message of redemption that all the Regent films represented at the Poe Film Festival was in stark contrast to the rest of the student films,” commented Professor Williams. “They caused a more hopeful, inspirational atmosphere but also invoked thoughtful questions from a mostly secular audience.”

Regent University came out as the top film school in the competition and received a prize sponsored by the Virginia Film Office on Poe’s birthday, Jan. 19!

Sara Waits is the Senior Editor of The Daily Runner.