UW News

June 8, 2009

Comic sketch on UW ‘coup’ wins grand prize in Pocketmedia Film Festival

Judges in the UW Pocketmedia Festival have announced winners of the first annual contest: “What do You Do at the UW?”

They had considered 35 films created by UW students, faculty, staff or alumni, each film no more than 90 seconds long, shot with a video camera, mobile phone or other electronic device small enough to fit in a pocket.

The winners:

• Grand prize: “7 Steps”

Mark E. Blasco, a building services supervisor in the Husky Union Building, won with a musical comedy. It follows his attempts to take over the UW with sung bravado and a robot made of aluminum foil. Along the way, Blasco is foiled by Rene Singleton, who in her day job is assistant director of student activities.

“I’ve been doing music all my life and am interested in short-form musicals,” said Blasco, 30, who studied audio production at the Art Institute of Seattle. As grand prize winner, Blasco won six tickets to the remaining 2009 Seattle International Film Festival and two all-access passes to the 2010 festival.

• People’s Choice: “A Life in Ink”

Jonathan Philip Groat, a sophomore at the UW, created a combination of film and live drawings on his typical day as a pre-social sciences major.

Groat’s film was voted best entry by visitors to Zooppa.com, where film creators posted their work. Groat won an iPod Nano.

• Honorable Mention: “Cleaning House”

Mary Kawamura, a sophomore majoring in digital arts, filmed a young woman who, in a game of pool, shows two young men she’s not the easy mark they thought she would be.

• Honorable Mention: “All in a Day’s Shoe”

Cheryl Crow, a training and education coordinator at the UW Medical Center, uses several pairs of shoes to show her typical day at the university: one pair of running shoes for trips between UW Tower and the medical center, another for soccer games with people in the electrical engineering department and a third for dancing with UW Swing Kids.

• Honorable Mention: “UW G-RAD”

Faraz Zarghami, a 2007 UW graduate, created a rap film about his years at the university.

Honorable mention winners won Apple Final Cut Express Editing Software, a Flip MinoHD camera or an iPod Touch.

Judges were: Hanson Hosein, who directs the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program; Harry Hayward, UW director of Electronic Media and Special Programs; Jumana Al Hashal, a Master of Communication in Digital Media student; Jack Hoffman, director of production at UWTV; and Marty Riemer, KMTT radio personality and independent film maker.

Judges considered story content, production values, artistic content, originality and use of the university’s purple W logo.

“The University really wants to expand digital literacy of today’s students, and we saw this festival as a low-barrier way to help do that,” Hayward said.

Small media is also part of big changes in the way humans send messages. “Pocket media means everyone is a communicator, a filmmaker, a journalist, a content creator, a community organizer, a rabble rouser, a message disrupter, a salesperson, a marketer, a broadcaster, a narrowcaster,” Hosein said.


For more information, contact Hayward at 206-685-2647 or hhayward@u.washington.edu; Hosein at 206-685-0124 or hosein@u.washington.edu. The festival Web page is at http://uwpocketmedia.org/2009-winners/.