Student filmmakers honored at UKY Film Festival

Lexington, Kentucky (May 18, 2022) University of Kentucky film students, staff and fans gathered at Warsham Cinemas on April 29 to celebrate the creative work of UK student filmmakers. The University of Kentucky Student Film Festival is back on campus in collaboration with the Office of Student Organizations and Activities (found in the Student Success Office) and the Media Repository.

The 18 films shown were in the categories of Fiction, Documentary, Animation and Reality (Self Expression). Seven awards were presented. Five of them were technical awards, one for each category and one for best performance, based on scores from judges that were aligned with local industry professionals and content creators. Other awards included People’s Choice and Honorable Mention.

“The Film Festival was a wonderful opportunity to meet peers with similar interests and passions, and to get a chance to witness the wonderful work they have put together,” said Honorary Award winner Alyssa Harnes. “It also gave me the opportunity to show my work on the big screen to share it with a large audience for the first time, so I’m very grateful for that.”

All UK students were eligible to participate in the festival. More than 150 people attended to support the filmmakers and cast their votes for the audience’s choice at the closing of the shows.

“The festival was so much fun,” said Spencer Lamb, People’s Choice Award winner. “This was my first participation in any kind of festival, so it was really reassuring to hear people enjoying the work my friends and I have done. I will definitely be back next year.”

Among the submitted films scored for technical achievement, Vyn Lane, a junior Art Studio major, was awarded Best of Show (Fiction) for The Pretty Room and Best Animation for the Graphic Animation “Aphantasia”. Lynn was a two-time winner of the UK Virtual Film Festival last year. Their movie ‘Gone Fishing’ won Audience Choice and Best Performance in 2021.

A top score in the Documentary category, “Rumble” is a film about an aspiring professional wrestler from the Cincinnati area, co-directed by Kristen Branham and Nicholas Voluski.

“I am very grateful to the UK Film Festival and for its respect and appreciation for its filmmakers,” said Voluski.

Wills Quinn received the Best Performance award for his powerful leading role in the movie Redmile Directed by Nicholas Volosky.

“Nick and I spent some time discussing character standards and then we went out and did it Nike style,” Quinn said. “It was all improvised and organic which helped with the realism of the dialogue.”

Best Presentation (Narrative) is a category that highlights a filmmaker’s self-expression. This category depicts the reality expressed by the director but does not follow a traditional documentary format. Films in this category can contain performances by their director or performers that do not fit into the fictional narrative. The best (reality) show films can be art films, demo films, visual poems, or any expression of truth by the film maker. This year Camille Wright, a double major in Integrated Strategic Communications, Digital Media and Design, won Best Fiction Show for I’m Tired.

The final award presented was an honorable mention. “The Ed Taylor Terror” was a parody presented by Alyssa Harkness on behalf of the MAS 412/Video Production II team, Jack Belender and Caitlin Verkel.

The UK Film Festival will return in Spring 2023. Visit or follow @ukyFilmFest on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to find out more.

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