Student's Documentary Included in U.K. Film Festival

Monday, May 10, 2010

Westminster College senior broadcast communications major Dana Kerkentzes produced a documentary film that was included in the No Limits International Student Film Festival April 17-18 in Sheffield, U.K.

Kerkentzes is a daughter of Jerry and Darlene Williams of Elizabeth and a graduate of East Allegheny High School.

Kerkentzes' film, Another Journey to OZ, followed the Petite Players, a youth theatre troupe from Elizabeth, as they rehearsed for the musical OZ! It captured the life lessons learned and the creation of a family atmosphere that evolved.

The film, Kerkentzes' capstone research project, was developed under the supervision of Bradley Weaver, Westminster instructor of broadcast communications and Kerkentzes' faculty adviser. It can be viewed online at http://vimeo.com/8112208.

"I was disappointed that I couldn't attend the festival, since I only received notice a week before and couldn't make travel arrangements," Kerkentzes said. "I did call the Petite Players to share the good news. We will have our own screening this summer in the theater where they perform. In addition to the honor of having my work recognized in the U.K., being with all those fantastic kids when they see themselves on a big screen will be another rewarding experience."

"Filming Another Journey to OZ was one of the best experiences of my life," Kerkentzes added. "The Petites accepted me into their family with no questions asked. I am so proud of what those 40+ kids have done and love them with all my heart."

"Dana's work was an incredible labor of love that allowed her to really shine as a storyteller, but as a bit of an ethnographer and archivist as well," Weaver said. "She captured a little snapshot of that community's energy and history that shows in a way that you cannot quantify with traditional research. It shows in the faces and emotions of her participants. I'm quite pleased to see her hard work and all the time she put into the documentary recognized."

Kerkentzes received an Undergraduate Research Grant from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to assist with fees for submission of the film.

The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education. Visit www.westminster.edu/drinko to learn more about the Drinko Center.

The No Limits Festival (www.nolimitsfilmfestival.com) was sponsored by Art in the Park (www.artinthepark.org.uk) and the National Student Film Association (www.studentfilm.org.uk) and was conducted by Sheffield University students and the Sheffield Hallam Film Society.

Contact Weaver at (724) 946-7238 or e-mail weaverbl@westminster.edu for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is a top tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Guide to America's Best Colleges. Westminster ranked third among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 371 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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