Saturday, June 10, 2023

MTSU 20th Annual Student Film Festival


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Middle Tennessee State University held its 20th Annual Student Film Festival last Tuesday and Wednesday at the Keathley University Center. 

Of the 25 films submitted to the festival, only eight won official awards at the ceremony last Thursday. 

From the giddy and comical humor in “Orange Juice,” directed by James Roberson, to the dark and somber content in “You’re Fine,” directed by Sheridan Randolph, the festival displayed a wide variety of genres this year. 

“Reunion” won big that night, taking home three total awards: “Best Sound Mixing,” “Best Editing,” and “Audience Favorite.” The film is a fast-paced thriller featuring several choreographed fight scenes that included sharp dialogue and quick-firing guns. 

“I just like making movies,” says John Lane, the film’s director, screenwriter and cinematographer. “I like sharing my work with people and trying to entertain people.” 

According to the film’s editor, Morgan Haymer, the film was shot over a caffeine-fueled weekend in Fall 2019. The editing took about only a week.

“My main role in this was being the editor. I did all the visual effects, special effects, gun effects, the blood effects, hitting effects,” Haymer says. “That’s my main thing that I do.” 

Haymer also starred in the film as an actor who performed several stunts— one of which included flipping off a porch and into a pile of leaves. 

The viewing audience was also able to contribute: judges asked that they vote for a “fan-favorite,” creating a new unofficial award for the festival. “Reunion” 

“Empowered,” the film that won “Best Picture,” also won “Best Original Screenplay.” 

“I’m grateful not only for the award, but for the people who have helped me along the way,” says the film’s director, Spencer White said in an acceptance video he submitted since he could not be present for the ceremony. 

The drama thriller film entailed a relationship between a brother and sister who both shared supernatural powers.

This event was put on by the Student Programming and Activities organization. 

Best Picture


Best Sound Mixing 


Best Actor

You’re Fine

Best Actress

Tranquility and Turmoil

Best Editing


Best Director

Orange Juice

Best Original Screenplay


Best Cinematography 


Audience Favorite


To contact Lifestyles Editor Ashley Barrientos, email

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