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Bright Talents, Dark Themes

April 30, 2015
The student winners of the 11th annual 60 Seconds or Less Film Festival hosted by Washington College go for noir effects and comedy.

A scene from Gone with the Whiskey.A scene from Gone with the Whiskey.CHESTERTOWN, MD—The 60 Seconds or Less Film Festival, a worldwide competition sponsored by Washington College and now in its eleventh year, has announced the winners in the student category, open only to WC undergraduates. 

In the 60 seconds or less category, the group Beleseco Studios, made up of Olivia Serio ’17, Kim Lebo ’17, Clair Belleveau ’15, and Reilly Cox ’16, took first place with their entry “The Final Note.”  The minute-long short reimagines the story of Hamlet as the trailer for a horror movie, including everything from atmospheric camera jitter to bloody hands playing a piano. The film originated as a project in Professor Kathryn Moncrief’s “Hamlet and its Afterlife” class.  

Runners up in this category were, in second place, “Sweet Dream” by Sarah Wieder, and in third, “A Shred Through Washington College,” by Bennett Daniels

The dying is easy in Gone with the Whiskey, part three of a trilogy by Austin Lewis and Nick Anstett.The dying is easy in Gone with the Whiskey, part three of a trilogy by Austin Lewis and Nick Anstett.The winner of the 30-minutes-or-less category was the team of Austin Lewis and Nick Anstett for their film “Gone with the Whiskey,” the third installment in the “No Booze” Trilogy.  In the first two films of the trilogy, hard-boiled Detective Harry Wood tries to hunt down a horse-masked murderer and is dragged into a seedy campus underbelly full of betrayal, family secrets, and an ever-elusive ring of booze-smugglers. The filmmakers summarize the final comedic noir film this way: “Harry Wood tries to escape from his life with the Flock following the death of his brother, but with new threats to the College, including the head of it all – known only as ‘Big Dick’– Wood must return to finish the case of the 50 kegs once and for all.” 

Two films tied for second place in the 30 Minutes or Less Category: “Ham & Cheese,” submitted by Alex Foxwell, Kathleen Dwyer, Anna Baldwin, Catalina Righter, and Danielle Parkerson; and “Small Town Bar” by Henry Eschricht

The 60 Seconds or Less Film Festival began at Washington College eleven years ago and initially included only student submissions running 60 seconds or less.  Since then, it has added a short-film category for submissions that run between 60 seconds and 30 minutes in length and opened the festival to submissions from the wider world. 

As a result, the festival has amassed international followers. This year alone, there were 842 submissions from 67 countries covering six continents, says Director of Educational Technology Nancy Cross, organizer of the competition. From the worldwide competition, 97 submissions were chosen to be screened at campus events April 29 and 30 and shown all day May 1 in the Beck Lab, located on the lower level of Miller Library. Cross plans to announce the worldwide winners on Friday, May 1 or as soon as possible afterward. “There are a lot of films for the judging panel to evaluate this year,” she says of the process that picks winners based on criteria that include creativity, writing, pacing, performances, cinematography and sound/music. 

For more information on the 60 Seconds or Less Film Festival visit http://ow.ly/MbPWm

Last modified on Jun. 24th, 2015 at 12:16pm by Marcia Landskroener.