Inaugural YellowHammer Film Festival announces award winners

Held virtually last Saturday, the YellowHammer Film Fest presented 17 awards during its student competition.

Held virtually last Saturday, the YellowHammer Film Fest presented 17 awards during its student competition.

Seventeen awards were given out to students throughout the country Saturday night as a part of the inaugural YellowHammer Film Festival with James Clemens High School in Madison, Alabama, taking the lion’s share in their division.

Troy University design student, Tate Moseley, won for Best Commercial with her Apple Watch Series and University of Alabama student Nicholas Coker won the YellowHammer Award in the College Division for Drawn to Campus, 2D Animation set on live action.

The festival took place virtually on Saturday, being broadcast from the International Arts Center on the Troy Campus. The event was made possible by a major grant from the Alabama Humanities Alliance and matching funds from Troy University.

Festival Director and Host Chris Stagl and Professor Ed Noriega were leading the effort from TROY. Other members of the team — Tate Moseley, Director of Community Outreach, Destiny Eady, Director of Social Media and Dr. Will Napier, Director of Quality Assurance – co-hosted the event with Stagl and Noriega remotely.

“With over six hours of planned events, eight guest speakers and three hours of exhibition, the day filled up nicely and was a huge success,” Stagl said.

Noriega called the student productions amazing.

“These films are absolutely amazing,” Noriega said. “I cannot believe the quality of the production and creative storytelling these students were able to achieve.”

Dr. Napier echoed Noreiga’s sentiments.

“Some of these films blew me away,” Dr. Napier said. “The future of filmmaking is in great hands with these students.”

The winning films were:

High School Division
• Best Experimental: Austin Michael & Peter John for AntiCinema
• Best Documentary: WVN Productions for Limitless
• Best Commercial: Kinsley Hunter for Every Girl Has a Gas Station Story
• Best Cinematography: Grant Meder for The FIxer
• Best Directing: Alex Dashwood for Girl Scout Cookies
• Best Writing & The YellowHammer Award: Grayson Waggoner for Them’s The Beans
• Best of the Fest & Best Acting: Sunny Keller for Worst Critic

College Division
• Best Motion Graphics: Cassie Jacobson for #FallTermOnYourTerms
• Best 3D Animation: Sophia Azpe for Pirate Lesson
• Best Original Song: Lauren Richmond for Reginald The Flying llama
• Best Commercial: Tate Moseley for Apple Watch Series
• Best Score: Aleksei Borovikov for Glances
• The YellowHammer Award: Nicholas Coker for Drawn to Campus
• Best Writing & Best 2D Animation: Christina Giordano for Stolen
• Best Directing: Matej Sefcik for Moving On
• Best Editing & Best Acting: Cayleigh Marie Pine for Heather & Harper
• Best of the Fest & Best Cinematography: George Vatistas for The Hobbyist

All of the presentation and the nearly ten hours of footage of the festival can be found at