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Westminster entry earns Best Student Film honor at competition

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Posted on Monday, July 10, 2023

A short film created by a team of Westminster College students for the 2023 Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project was selected as the competition’s Best Student Film.
“Bee Careful,” produced by students in Kandice Hartner’s Digital Video and Cinema class, earned the honor at the film project’s Best of Screenings and Awards Show in May, which featured just 12 select films submitted for the competition. “Bee Careful” was also nominated in the categories Best Use of Character and Best Women Led Team.

The annual Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project challenges teams to research, shoot and edit a short film in a single weekend. Teams were provided guidelines and required elements and given just 48 hours to craft, shoot, edit and submit a four- to seven-minute film. Teams chose from one of two genres and were given a required prop, a line of dialogue and a character.  

“Over the course of the semester, my students create amazing things, and the final assignment in my Digital Video and Cinema class this semester was to compete in the 48 Hour Film Project,” said communications instructor Hartner. “I’m so proud of this talented group of students and what they were able to pull together in such a narrow timeframe. Making a film is no easy feat and everyone should be very proud of what they accomplished.”

The Westminster students selected the comedy/social commentary genre and were required to use a cup of tea as a prop, include the line “Do you think I’m stupid?” in the script, and incorporate the character of environmental investigator Vern Ewing into the story.

“Bee Careful” centers around a curious case of illnesses happening at the farm of honey producers, the Bumble twins. Investigator Vern Ewing is charged with finding out the cause.

Filmed at Westminster’s Field Station and in the Hoyt Science Center and Thompson-Clark Hall, “Bee Careful” was written by Hamish Mathwin ’23 of North Adelaide, South Australia, and directed by Bethany Edwards, a rising senior of Carnegie, Pa. The team also included rising seniors Mason Peck of Cary, N.C., and Ryan Thibault of Glenshaw, Pa., editing; rising senior cinematographers Maxwell Robinson of Pittsburgh and Kevin Ivany of Malden, Mass., filming; Sabrina Slagle ’23 of Pittsburgh, production design; Emma Gurley ’23 of New Castle, production assistant; and actors Kent Dunn, a rising senior from West Valley City, Utah; Tyler Hunter, a rising senior from Trafford, Pa., and Jaden Sowers, a rising senior from Amity, Pa. Hartner served as producer.

To view the film, please visit

Learn more about Westminster College’s School of Communication here.  For more information about the Pittsburgh 48-Hour Film Project, visit