Digital Media Alumni Win Top Honor at SUNYWide Film Festival

Jogger John

“Jogger John” is the subject of an award winning documentary by 2013 Digital Media alumni Kaleigh Griffin, Claudia Gallo, Lindsay Nimphius and Keri Sheheen.

By Despina Williams Parker

The Digital Media and Journalism Department is pleased to announce New Paltz alumni’s grand prize win at the SUNYWide Film Festival, held in April at the SUNY Fredonia campus.

The documentary, “First Name: Jogger, Last Name: John,” by Kaleigh Griffin, Claudia Gallo, Lindsay Nimphius and Keri Sheheen, all 2013 graduates, earned Best in Festival.

The 15-minute film, which was directed, written and produced by Griffin, tells the story of “Jogger John,” a homeless man and former drug addict who became a Woodstock, NY treasure. Gallo served as cinematographer and co-edited the film with Sheeheen. Nimphius scored the film.

The festival was founded in 2009 as an opportunity to showcase the cinematic excellence of students and faculty from the SUNY system.

The young filmmakers were thrilled to receive the award.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all and it came as such a wonderful surprise,” said Griffin. “I can’t wait to tell Jogger John. He’s always so happy when I tell him about another accomplishment the film makes.”

The project was created as part of the Seminar in Digital Filmmaking capstone course last spring. The documentary premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival and earned the Second Place Documentary award at the annual international Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts in the spring.

View the trailer for the documentary here.


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