By Jane Potocki 

Directors:

Landers Pannell & Aaron Winneroski
Birdhouse Bill (and his Rainbow Rocks) 

“’Birdhouse Bill’ is a really different kind of documentary. We loved the idea of a documentary being zany and weird, since people don’t seem to do that. The film was originally done as a news package for Newswatch 3, but has been completely reimagined as a documentary. I’m really excited for people to see it because it is something new and different and I hope it can make some people laugh.” – Pannell

“I co-directed this short feature with Landers Pannell. I spent a few days last summer researching some interesting characters from the Indiana and Kentucky area. As I was doing more research, I stumbled across the website of a man named Bill Larkin and his birdhouse collection. I emailed Bill’s son and eventually got in touch with Bill and scheduled a visit. Landers and I spent a full day listening and asking Bill questions about his birdhouse collection. Bill was such a hoot (no pun intended). I’m excited for people to meet Bill and to see his collection for themselves. It’s a fun little feature that I hope people enjoy!” – Winneroski

 

Aaron Winneroski
The Wish

“Last year was the first time I really invested any time into animation. I created some moving graphics for Hedgehog USA. Since then, I challenged myself to create something longer. At the beginning of last summer, I started character and story design for ‘The Wish.’ From there, I just slowly pieced it together during my free time, weekends and Christmas and spring break. A lot goes in to making an animation. You have to be very intentional about what you do. Each little movement was thought out sometimes months in advance. There’s nothing really like it. This film really is an extension of myself. It might be short, but I invested a lot of my time and emotion into it. This emotion is also realized through the brilliant original score from Levi Simonton. I think there’s been an animation in Highbridge the past four or five years. I’m excited to keep the streak going and to see how people respond to it.” – Winneroski

 

Jake Halm
Crave 

 “’Crave’ is a film about a hidden treasure and what happens to the man, played by Ken Lutz, who finds it. I am excited to show it at Highbridge just because it is really awesome to be able to see something that you made viewed by everyone on the big screen.” – Halm

Therma  

“’Therma’ is a documentary about what it is like to live with a chicken on Asbury’s campus. The film stemmed from an idea I had for my third multi camera project, which involved a chicken. So the film follows the process of getting the chicken and living with it on campus. I am excited to show it at Highbridge because it is such a fun film, and I think it will make people laugh!” – Halm

 

Paul Sigler & Naomi Friedman
Break Up & Break In  

“Moriah and Todd break into her ex-boyfriend’s house to retrieve her toaster, but with one simple text message everything goes wrong.” – Sigler

 

Savannah Riley
Between the Tiles 

“’Between the Tiles’ is a short story about a guy and girl on their first date. The word game they are playing reveals a lot about what they are thinking. I got the idea for the story because I love playing the game Bananagrams, and I am also very interested in interactions between people that are just starting to date. That time is such a fun part of life, and I am hoping audience members will connect to that. I am very excited to show it at Highbridge, and I am excited for my actors to see their faces on the big screen as well!” – Riley

 

Ryan McCormick
Only Time 

“My story is about a man who finds himself out of time when a comet threatens the existence of all humankind. After years of avoiding pain and issues of a past divorce, his conscience weighs heavy upon him to attempt to reconcile with his ex-wife. But, will she offer the reprieve of forgiveness that he needs before time is no more? And that’s my story, ‘Only Time.’ I’m excited to share my film at Highbridge because I think in a lot of ways, the way in which we relate to our fellow man is how we relate to God. In my own Christian walk, sometimes I find myself treating God’s forgiveness towards me very lightly. But in reality, God doesn’t want me to simply ask for forgiveness and go on with my life. He wants to be in relationship with me, and that’s the whole point of forgiveness in the first place. I’m excited to hear peoples’ differing perspectives on the film!” – McCormick

 

Sam Martin
Ghost 

“My film is about a guy who comes home to what he thinks is an empty house, when in reality he’s not as alone as he imagined. I’m excited for people to see ‘The Ghost’ at Highbridge this year because my friend and I had a great time making it. We started making shorts that were just atrocious in middle school and have been waddling our way towards some kind of professionalism ever since. At the end of day, if this film makes one person laugh, we’ll be completely satisfied.” – Martin

 

Spencer Smith
Death of the Author  

“’Death of the Author’ was written and directed by Will McBride, an Asbury alumni who graduated after the film was created. I had the pleasure of producing it and have the honor of representing it at the Festival. The film is based around the life and thoughts of Ronald Barthes, who was a French literally theorist and philosopher amongst other things. But in the case of our film, we allow the audience the opportunity to see how an author’s work shapes the society that reads it. The story juxtaposes the views of a writer to the views of his fans over the themes in his own work. The various interpretations lead to conflict which ultimately causes the death of the author. From the surface, I personally enjoy the suspense that the film provides. With further contemplation, we see deeper themes of inner turmoil, greed, and suffering and how they relate to a creative soul. It will show well in the variety that the festival is composed of and I think the audience will enjoy it.” – Smith

 

Lucas Green
Addicted 

“’Addicted’ is about one man’s strange addiction and how it pushes his friends and family away. That addiction isn’t to drugs or alcohol though. It’s to the puffy goodness that is cheese balls. I’m excited to show ‘Addicted’ at Highbridge this year because of all the hard work that has been put into it. My cast and crew did an amazing job with this film. It would be nothing without them! I’m excited to show off some awesome people’s talents and to live my dream of being a filmmaker.” – Green

 

Andrew King
I Am Knightly  

’I Am Knightly’ follows Sir Ullr of the Shire of Dragonsmark, a man trying to merge the morals of a medieval life in a modern world where the practices of being knightly is almost gone. Landers Pannell, Abby Witt and myself hope that people really connect with the story and realize that a story can be found even in the unlikeliest of places.” – King

 

Jordan Hill, Hannah Schultz & Paula Diaz
Latitude 

“’Latitude’ is about the Latitude Artist Community in Lexington, which helps to serve and work with individuals with disabilities in order to foster a creative life through art. We created the film to bring light to the idea that disability does not equal inability, and to inform people of the studio in an effort to get people involved and supporting the studio” – Hill

“I think it’s important to share stories like this that shed light on ‘outsiders’ in our community to give a voice to those who are often overlooked or stereotyped. I’m excited to share about all of the work that Latitude is doing for the disabled community in Lexington and just put a spotlight on that amazing establishment!” – Schultz

 

“We take a short look at the history of the studio and some of the artists. I’m really excited for our community to see it because it’s over a topic not many people that about. Not just that, but it’s an art studio that’s really close to campus! If anything, it would be so exciting to see Asburians not only be inspired by the work of the artists but also interested in getting involved.” – Diaz

 

Amanda Secen, Kelsey Bundy & Sarah Bosler
Jesus Prom 

“’Jesus Prom’ follows the stories of Jeremy and Julia as they attend this event for mentally and physically handicapped adults. This documentary tells the audience why the event is held, how it all comes to life and why it is so important and impactful. We are very excited to show this film at Highbridge because these people’s stories have meant so much to us and we want others to hear their stories and see the impact that Jesus Prom has on everyone who attends.” – Bosler

 

Josh Bedsole
On the Other Hand

“’On The Other Hand’ is a fun and hilarious comedy about a group of writers who are trying to come up with the perfect script to meet a tight deadline. As each writer shares their vision for what they think script should look like, we see the scene play out in the screen. Without giving anything away, we want the audience to see that despite differing opinions we can still work together to create something wonderful! I had a lot of fun producing and shooting this film as the cinematographer!” – Bedsole

 

Hosts:

Andrew King & Trevor Smith

King and Smith “both practiced long and hard for Highbridge, but we realized we just weren’t that funny,” said King. “So we decided to just say everything that Chris Rock said during the Oscars. So if you liked this year’s Oscar Awards, you’ll like this year’s Highbridge. Also, John Wesley may or not be hosting Highbridge with us while on horseback. We’re currently in contract negotiations with his people.”

 

Judges:

Dean Batali

 Dean Batali was a writer and occasional producer for shows like “That 70’s Show,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Duckman” and multiple others. He’s had experience in multiple writing and producing jobs throughout the years, and has also done some acting. His writing has appeared in several books where he often talks about his experience as a Christian in Hollywood. He is currently a teacher and mentor at Act One, which is an institution that trains Christian writers and directors for careers in Hollywood.

 

Kathy Campbell

 Kathy Campbell is a booking agent based in Louisville. She opened the Louisville branch and is the current director of the talent agency Heyman Talent, which has become one of the strongest agencies in the Midwest. Through her company, she has booked roles from the runway to TV to film to multiple other projects.

 

Clay Riley Hassler

Asbury graduate Clay Riley has gone on to become a writer and director. He has worked on multiple films, documentaries and advertisements for brands from Walmart, to Toyota, to The People’s Choice Awards.

 

His work in film has won him a Grand Jury Award for his debut feature “HOMELESS.” This film received praise from multiple outlets including The Hollywood Reporter where they called it “astounding”. Clay was named “director to watch” by Way Too Indie, and he is currently working on his second feature film, STL. Him and his wife established the motion picture companyWet Paint, in Nashville and currently direct it together.

 

Doug Jones

Doug Jones is an award-winning actor who tends to play characters in sci-fi and superhero movies. He’s been in films like Hocus Pocus, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer amongst others. He’s also been in TV shows such as The Neighbors, The Strain, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Arrow, The Flash and many more. He’s currently filming for two upcoming movies in 2016.