Student filmmakers win top prizes at Purdue’s Digital Cinema Contest

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Five students received the top prizes in Purdue’s seventh annual Digital Cinema Contest Premiere Night and Awards Ceremony on Thursday (April 23) at the Lafayette Theater.
Awards were given for best documentary, alternative, animated and narrative film, along with a viewer’s choice. Best actor, actress, cinematography, sound design, special features and director also were recognized.

First-year engineering student, Robert Shoemaker, took home an individual award for best sound design for "Decay Constant"

First-year engineering student, Robert Shoemaker, took home an individual award for best sound design for 'Decay Constant'

One entry, junior Harry Nelson’s (film and video studies major) vampire-themed short film, won two awards. The film took the viewer’s choice award, and Bradford Oman, a senior in film and video studies, was chosen best actor for his role in it. The other major film awards included best narrative, “Hustler & the Blind Man” directed by Daniel Skubal, a 2008 film and video studies alumnus; best alternative, “When I Die (trailer)” directed by Jason Zink, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts; best animation, “Rags & Roger” directed by Chris Borer Jr., a junior in computer graphics technology; and best documentary, “Lying Still” by Danielle Johnson, a sophomore in English education.

Individual awards included best actress for Johnson in “Lying Still”; best director for Samantha Braden, junior in the College of Liberal Arts, for “The Bet”; best cinematography for the team of Chris Purdy, sophomore in film and video studies, and Matthew Mann, 2008 film and video studies alumnus, for “Wall Flower”; best sound design for Robert Shoemaker, first-year engineering, in “Decay Constant”; and best special features for Skubal in “Hustler & the Blind Man.”

Prizes for the top winners included cash and gift certificates for local restaurants and retailers.


Most of the films also were posted to YouTube with the tag “dcc09.” YouTube views, ratings and comments were used to select the Viewer’s Choice recipient. Contest organizer Kevin O’Shea cautions that videos have not been rated and advises viewer discretion. The films may contain adult language and violence.

The awards ceremony also featured a world premiere of Digital Cinema Contest alumnus Tyler Kupferer’s short film “Duck <3 Teslacoil." Kupferer is currently studying for his master's degree in film and television at Savannah College of Art and Design. More information about his video project can be found at

The contest, in its seventh year, is presented annually by the Digital Learning Collaboratory in the John W. Hicks Undergraduate Library at Purdue. The collaboratory is a joint initiative of Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) and Purdue University Libraries.

The DLC offers access to film editing software packages and instruction, video and computer equipment. For more information on the DLC, please visit

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One Response to “Student filmmakers win top prizes at Purdue’s Digital Cinema Contest”


  1. […] off, Duck ♥ Teslacoil got some press this past week after its world premiere at the Digital Cinema Contest Award Ceremony. The site LafayetteOnline […]

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