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 Winners of SRU's Warner Film Festival Announced 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


              SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Top honors in the recent Harry M. Warner Festival of Short Film and Video, hosted by Slippery Rock University’s Harry M. Warner Film Institute, went to Adetoro Makinde of Hollywood for the 19-minute presentation “In Time.” Second place honors went to “The Passage of Mrs. Calabash,” directed by Scott Tuft of Los Angeles, and third place to “Twitch,” directed by Leah Meyerhoff of Brooklyn, N.Y.

          Honorable mentions were given “The Act,” directed by Pi Ware and Susan Kraker of Los Angeles, and the 15-minute short “Sunday in August,” directed by Marc Meyer of Berlin, Germany. The top film was awarded $250, with $150 and $100 going to the second- and third-place winners, respectively.

          The festival, held in conjunction with the renovation of the Riverplex project in downtown New Castle, was created to honor the first chief executive officer of the Warner Brothers entertainment company. The brothers built their first movie theater in New Castle and later expanded to Youngstown and across the U.S. before starting their own film production studio in California. The institute was created at SRU in 2004.

          The project, which offered showings on campus and at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, drew more than 75 U.S. and international entries. U.S. A committee of judges, including William Covey, assistant professor of English at SRU, Joe Morrison, operations director at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and John Nichols, director of film studies and assistant professor of English/cultural and critical studies at Christopher Newport University, reduced the submissions to 25 for presentation.

           The event, organized by Laurel Dagnon, director of programming for SRU’s Institute for Community, Service Learning and Nonprofit Leadership, and Dr. Allison McNeal, professor of English,  included a lecture by Cass Warner, granddaughter of the late film magnate and author of “Hollywood Be Thy Name: The Warner Brothers’ Story,” an account of how her family molded the film entertainment business in Hollywood.

          The top award-winning film details a Nigerian-American named Bisi, who has lived her life balancing the freedom of an American lifestyle and the beliefs of her Yoruba ancestors. “The Passage of Mrs. Calabash” a 19-minute short, is set on an overnight train traveling through the barren winter from Chicago to New England telling of a young gas station proprietress and a retired professor who exchange guarded secrets that can only be shared with a stranger. “Twitch” is a 10-minute, coming-of-age-story about a teenage girl who is forced to care for her disabled mother, while beginning to come to terms with her emerging sexuality.

          Copies of the top 25 films selected for presentation are available from SRU’s Bailey Library and the New Castle Historical Society.




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