First Place: Taylor Davis
Taylor Davis is a film student at BYU, emphasizing in directing and writing. He has been interested in the medium for over a decade, wherein he has created around a hundred films, shorts, and videos, from Lego stop-motion animations to minute-long comedies to vlogs to short films and documentaries. His YouTube channel Taylor-Place Productions has garnered thousands of subscribers and millions of views since it was launched in 2009, with his main source of viewership being a Lego Star Wars comedy series called Base 327. He hopes throughout his career to be able to create things that are, above all else, “not like other things”, and to inspire new filmmakers with his unique work to come.
Second Place: Aaron Fisher
Aaron Fisher is a Brigham Young University student studying Media Arts, and emphasizing in screenwriting. From Long Island, New York, Aaron is finishing his final year at BYU, is heavily involved in the music program and has been playing his tenor saxophone for eleven years now. He has had the privilege of working with industry leaders at the Sundance Institute and hopes to continue to do so in writing and film, after graduation in April 2018. On My Mind is a passion project of his, and one he hopes to see developed into a BYU fiction capstone film one day.
First Place: Elena Bender
Elena Frances Bender is a sophomore at BYU’s media arts program. She is taking the critical studies route and hopes one day to become a professor in film arts and the humanities. Her interest in film started sophomore year of high school when she was involuntarily placed into a film literature class. She fell in love with the cinematography of George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and ever since knew that this was the art medium for her. She enjoys rock climbing, pressing flowers, riding her bike, talking at inappropriate volumes, and impulsively sharing her incredible taste in music with those who have not asked for it.
Second Place: Devin Ricky Sudweeks
Devin “Ricky” Sudweeks has a passion for seeking out new perspectives. He is a Media Arts major focusing in experimental film and production design with an anthropology minor. He grew up in Highland, Utah as the second of five children. He has worked at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center as a writer, simulation director, and graphic artist since 2011. After high school, he served a mission in the Netherlands. Ricky’s interests include Asian history, linguistics, writing, contemporary art, and cartwheeling through public spaces. His favorite feature film is To Live (1994) directed by Zhang Yimou.
First Place: Kaily Goodro
Kaily Goodro is a senior in the BYU Media Arts program with an emphasis in critical studies. As a librarian assistant in the Harold B. Lee Library Humanities department, she made efforts to improve the resources available for fellow Media Arts students. She led a project to update the film reference collection and online research guide with the hopes of bringing in more resources on digital media and television as well as improving the overall quality of resources available. Her interests are film criticism and theory, bagels, and all things comedy. After graduation, she will pursue a Masters and then a Ph.D. as she aspires to be a media literacy professor.
Second Place: Brendan Lund
Brendan Lund is a Master’s student in the Spanish Literature department at BYU. He received his BA in Philosophy and his primary areas of interest are theories of agency, identity, and consciousness. As a MA student, Brendan also works teaching Spanish courses at the University. His interests in media arts stem from the intricate connection which exists between the work and the audience and the effects this can have on the viewer.