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Student filmmakers awarded at international media competition

A group of SUNY New Paltz Digital Media Production students have been recognized at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts, a highly competitive media festival that this year saw more than 1,500 media submissions across a number of categories including audio, film and scriptwriting.

New Paltz students Alyssa De Rosa ’16, Meagan Sullivan ’16, Alec Cafaro ’16 and Catherine Kaczor ’16, all of whom major in Digital Media Production, earned the 4th Place Prize in the Student Documentary, Short Form Video category.

“Winning the BEA award really verifies us as filmmakers,” said De Rosa, who co-directed and co-produced the documentary. “The documentary section of the competition had a number of entries from some of the best film schools, so winning 4th place is a real accomplishment for us and for SUNY New Paltz.”

The students’ award-winning documentary, “Serendipity: The Genius Behind Electric Lady,” tells the story behind Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios, featuring interviews with architect John Storyk and innovative animations and motion graphics.

“During the production process we faced a lot of problems that really challenged us as filmmakers,” De Rosa said. “A lot of documentarians go for the ‘Ken Burns effect’ and simply pan and zoom on photographs, but we wanted this to look as three dimensional as possible. We spent hours animating photographs to look three dimensional, which we had never done before, so it was a great learning experience for us.”

“At the end of the semester, we were exhausted but so relieved that we could leave our seminar class with something we were all proud of,” Kaczor added. “All the hard work we did really payed off, and we couldn’t have done it without our professor Gregg Bray and of course, John Storyk.”

A second group of New Paltz representatives took home an Honorable Mention in the same Student Documentary, Short Form Video category. Digital Media Production alumni Kevin O’Connor ’15, Shyah Miller ’15, Dante Corrocher ’15 and Lauren Hoffmann ’15 were recognized for their film “Noisemakers,” an introduction to the world of experimental music.

The award-winning film teams will have an opportunity to be recognized for their work at the 2016 BEA Convention, April 17-20 in Las Vegas, Nev.

More information about the Department of Digital Media & Journalism is available online.