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WFU inaugural film festival features student films from around the world

March 19, 2008

Wake Forest University will host its inaugural Reynolda Film Festival April 11-13.  The festival offers college and graduate student filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work, network with other aspiring filmmakers, be encouraged in their filmmaking and be rewarded for their creativity, according to student organizers.

Organized by Wake Forest students, the event’s name reflects that it is being held on the university’s Reynolda Campus.

The festival will feature screenings of 30 films of all lengths by filmmakers from 10 different countries and lectures and panel discussions by notable film industry experts.  Both the films and lectures will highlight various filmmaking categories including, narrative, documentary, animation, international and experimental.   

The festival is sponsored by WAKE TV, the university’s student-run television station.  According to Alex Saks, a Wake Forest junior who is director of the festival and president and chief executive officer of WAKE TV, the students at the station felt a responsibility to revive the film culture at Wake Forest and want the event to become a yearly tradition.

“In the 1960s and 70s, a thriving, active film community existed here, but since then, it has somehow lost its place,” Saks said.  “We still have a network of filmmakers and enthusiasts here, so we decided to develop this festival to help bring the passion for film back to the Wake Forest community and encourage more students to explore filmmaking.”

The festival committee received more than 75 submissions from students representing more than 15 countries, including Canada, Australia, Italy, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Thailand, Spain, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.  All students who submitted films were invited to attend the festival. 

Film industry experts who will present lectures include:

  • Brooke Barnett, award-winning writer, director and producer. Her films have included “Kentucky Life,” “Mixed Media” and “Conversations.”
  • Mary Dalton, associate professor of communication at Wake Forest, writer and producer.  She has produced documentaries, including “I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper,” “Sam McMillan: The Dot Man,” and “Tom Whitaker: Potter at Large.”
  • Keith Hobgood, illustration director at Out Of Our Mind Animation Studios.
  • Neal Hutcheson, documentary filmmaker whose films include PBS’s “The Queen Family,” “Voice of North Carolina” and “Mountain Talk.”
  • Jordan Kerner, film producer whose work includes “Charlotte’s Web,” “George of the Jungle,” “Snow Dogs,” “Inspector Gadget,” and all three “The Mighty Ducks” films.
  • David Park, production coordinator at Pixar Animation Studios whose films include “Cars,” Ratatouille” and “Wall-E.”
  • Aner Preminger, senior lecturer at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a visiting faculty member in Wake Forest’s communication department and independent film director.  His films include “Blind Man’s Bluff” and “On My Way to Father’s Land.” 

Judges for the festival will be Dalton; Hobgood; Hutcheson; Preminger; Peter Brunette, Reynolds Professor of Film Studies at Wake Forest, writer and film critic; Sandra Dickson, co-director of The Documentary Institute at the University of Florida; Steve Jarrett, director of media facilities for the communication department at Wake Forest; John Pickel, associate professor of art at Wake Forest; Dale Pollock, former dean of the School of Filmmaking at the North Carolina School of the Arts; and Lee White, broadcast and multimedia system designer for ClarkPowell.

The festival is open to the public.  Admission is free for Wake Forest students, faculty and staff with Wake Forest identification.  Advance tickets to the festival are $12 and are available at  Tickets will be $15 at the door.  Details are available at  The site is scheduled to be updated by March 22.

Press Contacts:

Pam Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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