Rowan RTF students, grads win big at BEA

Rowan RTF students, grads win big at BEA

Rowan RTF students, grads win big at BEA

Rowan Today, March 26, 2019

In what is fast becoming a rite of spring, when the Broadcast Education Association announces winners for its annual Festival of Media Arts, Rowan students, and alumni are on the list!

BEA, which for the second year in a row named a Rowan project first place in the Narrative Category for the Student Film & Video Competition, will also honor Rowan documentary filmmaking and radio broadcasting when it holds its annual conference in Las Vegas April 6-9.

Rowan student filmmakers who will be recognized this year include 1st place winners Shannon Farrell, April Spotts, Chris Walega and David Gutentag for the narrative film Midnight Broadcast, which was developed and produced in Associate Professor Jonathan Mason’s Advanced Film Production course.

Peter Chamalian, Tyler Kubicz, Montana Marose and David Gutentag will receive 3rdplace honors in the long form video or film documentary category for Reberth, which was developed and produced in Associate Professor Diana Nicolae’s Documentary Production class.

In the Student Audio Competition,  Air Personality Category, Damara Peraino will receive the Award of Excellence for Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM's Satin Nights as well as 1st place honors in the Specialty Program Category for Control Q Dreaming.

Keith Brand, chair of the department of Radio, Television & Film within the College of Communication & Creative Arts, said the BEA affirms what generations of students, graduates and employers already know – Rowan is serious about results.

"These projects were judged by faculty from colleges and universities across the country, evaluated with work from some of the best media programs in the U.S.,” he said. “In addition to the recognition, this gives our students an important and distinctive item to include on their post-graduation resume."

Brand noted that students completed Reberth and Midnight Broadcast in senior level classes in film and video production.

Both now screening on the festival circuit, Rebirth was named Best Short Documentary in the Student category at the Atlantic City Film Festival and earned 2nd place honors at the prestigious national College Broadcaster’s Inc. festival. The film depicts a Grand Cayman Island development project that could benefit the island economically but may imperil its endangered marine ecosystem.

With Midnight Broadcast, Mason said, “the students explored the visual tropes of 1980s John Carpenter-style horror movies, paying homage to the genre through choices in stylized cinematography, understated acting, tension/release in sound design, and use of the emblematic synthesizer score.

The plot of the 12-minute film, which was completed in Spring 2018, plays on a classic narrative device – the radio drama – and that’s clear in promotional materials:

Alone at home, Aria must overcome her fear of an insidious radio drama when it comes to life around her. 

Farrell, a 2018 RTF graduate from Ocean City, served as producer and post-production supervisor for the project.

“The goal of this class was to replicate as closely as possible the experience of making a short film in the field,” she said. “In class we did pre-production and production including all of the organizing and preparing. The script was written over the summer but we did script revisions, came up with the shot list, the set, wardrobe, lighting plan, auditions and casting.”

With her varied education – Farrell double majored in RTF and writing arts and earned a minor in biology – she believes her career options are broad but sees her work on Midnight Broadcast as a major college milestone.

“We made an entire film from scratch,” she said. “That experience was valuable for everyone.”