By Colter Hettich, Student Reporter
Audience members at ACU’s third-annual FilmFest saw everything from trigger-happy evangelists to a paranoid, bank-robbing widower Friday at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Abilene.
Grant Starey, junior biology major from San Marcos, won six awards, including Best Film, for his action film “In Sheep’s Clothing.”
What started as a mere idea at Sonic turned into a reality and ended up winning Best Production Design, Best Technical Director, Best Producer, Best Writer, Best Director, and the aforementioned Best Film award.
“As a kid I just loved messing around with [my family’s] video camera and watching movies,” Starey said.
“In Sheep’s Clothing” is only Starey’s second film. He considers himself an amateur. “I didn’t even think I would get nominated for anything,” Starey said.
Rob Thomas, FilmFest judge and executive director of Igniter Media Group, shares Starey’s excitement for film.
“I was ecstatic when they asked me to be a judge,” Thomas said. “Media is my life, so I get into this.”
Five hundred people turned out for this year’s competition. A total 13 films were entered – five films in the comedy category, five films in the drama category and three films in the action category – 10 awards were given out. All qualifying films were played at the Paramount Theatre, where the awards ceremony took place afterwards.
Doug Darby, creative media specialist and creator/executive Director of FilmFest, got the idea for FilmFest at a media consortium in the summer of 2003. He has witnessed his vision come to life and said it just keeps getting better.
“Overall quality has continued to improve,” Darby said. “I was very pleased with the caliber of films this year.”
FilmFest 2007 was not without hurdles though; Darby said Premiere night was “rocky” at best.
He said it is difficult to put together when the program receives no money from ACU and has to rely solely on fundraising and sponsors. An event like FilmFest requires help, and Darby said he could not have done it without the women of Delta Theta.
“The ladies of DT are nothing less than a godsend,” Darby said. “I appreciate them immensely.”
Despite financial and technical difficulties – the premier started 45 minutes late- Darby, along with others, managed to pull it off.