Homing in on Hollywood

Topics: College of Fine Arts, Alumni, Immersive Learning, College of Communication Information and Media

January 13, 2010

 Ball State University's first commercial film venture scored some Hollywood-level credibility by winning a Southern California film festival.

"My Name is Jerry" won Best Feature Film in the 2010 Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival, which is right in Tinseltown's backyard.

"This is a smaller but quite competitive festival in the heart of Southern California, one that is a highly visible and one that brings us one step closer to Hollywood," said Rodger Smith, director of Ball State's Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education, and the film's producer. "Our agents in LA have fielded multiple offers, but with the film's increasing stock, as demonstrated by the Santa Clarita honor, we are holding out for larger possibilities." 


"Jerry" was selected from more than 700 submissions, and it was screened at the opening night gala and again during the festival. Doug Jones, the Hollywood star and Ball State alumnus who played the lead role, and Bruce Economou, 'Jerry' executive producer, introduced the film at the gala and held question and answer sessions after both screenings, Smith added.

"'Jerry' is quickly gaining a reputation as the little film that could," he said. "It's gone up against some pretty stiff competition in the United States and Europe and managed to win some impressive hardware. This is a ringing tribute to the students who gained an immersive learning experience working with film professionals to complete this successful commercial film."

Internationally, "Jerry" recently won best film, best soundtrack and best supporting actress (Catherine Hicks) at the International Filmmaker Festival in Kent, England, besting more than 400 entries from 27 countries. Additional honors include:

  • Route 66 Film Festival — Best Feature Comedy 2009
  • accepted in the 2009 Tacoma Film Festival
  • accepted in the 2009 Grand Rapids Film Festival
  • accepted in the 2010 Festivus Film Festival in Denver
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