FILM INSTITUTE Festival recognizes best short flicks

The project drew more than 75 U.S. and international entries.
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Top honors in the recent Harry M. Warner Festival of Short Film and Video, hosted by Slippery Rock University's Harry M. Warner Film Institute, went to Adetoro Makinde of Hollywood for the 19-minute presentation "In Time."
Second-place honors went to "The Passage of Mrs. Calabash," directed by Scott Tuft of Los Angeles, and third place to "Twitch," directed by Leah Meyerhoff of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Honorable mentions were given to "The Act," directed by Pi Ware and Susan Kraker of Los Angeles, and the 15-minute short, "Sunday in August," directed by Marc Meyer of Berlin, Germany.
The top film was awarded $250, and second- and third-place winners won $150 and $100, respectively.
The festival, held in conjunction with the renovation of the Riverplex project in downtown New Castle, was created to honor the first chief executive officer of the Warner Brothers entertainment company. The brothers built their first movie theater in New Castle and later expanded to Youngstown and across the U.S. before starting their own film production studio in California. The institute was created at SRU in 2004.
The project, which offered showings on campus and at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, drew more than 75 U.S. and international entries. A committee of judges, including Joe Morrison, operations director at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and John Nichols, director of film studies at Christopher Newport University, reduced the submissions to 25 for presentation.
The festival included a lecture by Cass Warner, granddaughter of the late film magnate and author of "Hollywood Be Thy Name: The Warner Brothers' Story," an account of how her family molded the film entertainment business in Hollywood.
The top award-winning film details a Nigerian-American named Bisi, who has lived her life balancing the freedom of an American lifestyle and the beliefs of her Yoruba ancestors. "The Passage of Mrs. Calabash," a 19-minute short, is set on an overnight train traveling through the barren winter from Chicago to New England and tells of a young gas station proprietress and a retired professor who exchange guarded secrets that can only be shared with a stranger.
"Twitch" is a 10-minute coming-of-age story about a teenage girl who is forced to care for her disabled mother while beginning to come to terms with her emerging sexuality.
Copies of the top 25 films selected for presentation are available from SRU's Bailey Library and the New Castle Historical Society.

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