Walla Walla Students Win Sonscreen Awards

April 13, 2017

Two documentary short videos produced for the Associated Students of Walla Walla University won important Sonny awards at the 2017 Sonscreen Film Festival, held April 6–8, 2017, in Loma Linda, Calif. Industrial design major Jacob Patterson accepted the Sonny award for best cinematography for “Chef’s Table” and the jury selection award for “Class of 2017 // One Step Forward.”

Nearly 200 individuals, including student teams and faculty from academies, colleges and universities, attended this year’s festival, held on the campus of Loma Linda University. More than 10 of those present came from Walla Walla University (WWU), a contingent led by Lynelle Ellis who directs the WWU Master of Arts in Media Ministry program.

Coordinated by Julio Munoz, North American Division (NAD) associate communication director, this annual event showcases student-produced films — 39 of which were screened this year. Sonscreen has become the annual gathering for young adults who have a passion for using film and video for the purpose of creating timely and relevant productions for social awareness, outreach, and uplifting creative entertainment. Since its debut in October 2002, the festival has helped established and up-and-coming Christian filmmakers share their creative work, gain exposure, and network with other media and film professionals.

Dan Jackson, NAD president, paid a short visit to the festival to underscore his appreciation for the value of visual storytelling in the mission of the church. “You are not the future of the church,” he told the group, “you are the church. We need your voice and your passion to help connect our mission with our communities.”

Professional filmmakers, Bill Mechanic and Terry Benedict, received special recognition during the festival — Mechanic as producer of “Hacksaw Ridge,” the feature film on Desmond Doss, and Benedict for his integral work with the Holbrook Indian School film “Dark to Light.”

Munoz announced the 2017 Sonscreen Sonny award winners at the Saturday evening awards ceremony:

  • Best Sound Design … “The Other Side” by Summer Medina (La Sierra University)
  • Best Animated Short … “Bearly Awake” by Stephanie Owen (Southern Adventist University)
  • Best Cinematography … “Chef’s Table” by Jacob Patterson (Walla Walla University)
  • Best High School Short … “Dewey Dixon” by Baily Nolfe and Malia Bishop (Loma Linda Academy)
  • Best Documentary Short … “The Hugs Project” by Stephen Allcock, Jeriah Richardson, Maxine Murray (Andrews University)
  • Best Original Screenplay … “The Follow Through” by Grace Romstad (Pacific Union College)
  • Best Comedy Short … “Capture” by John Butler and Brady Griffin (Southern Adventist University)
  • Best Dramatic Short … “Shelter” by D’arce Peter and Royce Pajela (Southern Adventist University)
  • Jury Selection … “Class of 2017 // One Step Forward” by Jacob Patterson and Jordan Stephan (Walla Walla University)
  • Audience Choice … “Foreign Native” by Denae Keizs, Madai Villa, Heidi Ramirez and Kiana Gurley (Andrews University)
  • Best in Festival … “Capture” by John Butler and Brady Griffin (Southern Adventist University)