Communication Class Wins at Lionshead Film Festival

Communication Class Wins at Lionshead Film Festival

Darcy Force

Southwestern Adventist University’s Communication Department is proud to announce that the Film Production class won Best Student Comedy Short at Lionshead Film Festival in Dallas this weekend for their short film The Prepper. The class worked together, under the direction of communication associate professor Kyle Portbury, to produce the short film. The film highlights the struggles of a prepper. After sixteen years hiding in a bunker a man runs out of toilet paper.

The production was truly a team effort. Shane Miosi wrote the script. Yaridai Casco-Hernandez, Matthew Forner, Justin Hudgins, Tristan Mikesell, Shane Miosi, Gavin Neal, and Scott Wallace directed the film. Post-production was by provided by Tristan Mikesell. The cast featured Kyle Portbury as the title character.

After completing The Prepper, each student also produced individual short film projects. For the students, this is exactly the experience they’re looking for. “I found it pretty cool that our film was accepted into the Lionshead Film Festival,” says Justin Hudgins, junior communication major. “I can say that I wasn't expecting to win an award. This whole experience was quite rewarding for me, as making films is something I have an interest in doing.”

“For me, this recognition by the film festival means that the amount of effort and time put into this project has produced more reward than a grade,” says Gavin Neal, senior communication major.  “We got involved with a project and we’re proud of it. That says a lot about how our communication department operates.”

"This was a great outcome for all the hard work the class put into bringing to life what began as a class exercise in studio set design and build and became an award winning short film." says Portbury.  "I couldn’t be more proud of their work and of course their casting choice was inspired.”

The department is no stranger to awards. Communication department chair Michael Agee is also the General Manager for KJRN The Journey radio station. The Journey just recently placed #20 out of the top 50 Christian radio stations in the nation. Kyle Portbury has won many awards for his work, including Best Documentary for his documentary “A Mountain Within” at the Mountain Film Festival in California. He also directed “Beyond the Search,” which went on to win 14 international awards including the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle.

“Working on this film was an eye-opening experience," explains Matt Forner, senior communication major. "Film studies was not something I initially was very interested in (being a hardcore radio guy) but after seeing the enthusiasm and talent that Kyle Portbury brought to the game, I couldn’t help but also become passionate. The Prepper was a true class project and being able to get hands-on experience and direction is very valuable. Not only does Portbury know the technical side of filmmaking but more importantly he knows how to tell a story well. Life is all about telling stories and relating experiences, which connects people together. As a Communication major I am gaining that experience and I’m excited that the hard work we all put forward has been acknowledged. I’m thankful to a part of the team!”

Students contributors Justin Hudgins and Gavin Neal (pictured below) were able to attend on behalf of the team and receive the award, photo attached. The film will be shown to the public this fall after school is back in session. Watch Southwestern Adventist University Facebook and website for more information.

Learn more about a degree in Communication

Lionshead Film Festival Win
The Prepper, Lionshead Film Festival, production, film