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NMSU student’s short film sweeps festival awards

A short film made by New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute, which qualified for the Academy Awards last month, swept top honors at the recent Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival.

Father hugging his daughter
A scene from the film “Princess,” written by an NMSU student and produced by NMSU’s Creative Media Institute. (Courtesy Photo)

“Princess,” a 7-minute film written by NMSU CMI student Mary Grace Hill and directed by CMI assistant professor Ross Marks, was among only 20 films selected to be part of the screening on Saturday, March 21, in Wilcox, Arizona.

The film won in six categories, including Best Short Film, Best Production, Best Director, Best Sound, Best of Fest and Audience Favorite.

“‘Princess’ is a true CMI collaboration,” Marks said. “It represents the very best of our department. We used a collection of students and faculty to bring to life a wonderful and emotional story.”

The project was conceived and written by Hill in a screenwriting class taught by Marks. The film tells the story of a little girl who grows up into a brave young woman before her father’s eyes as a tribute to women in the armed forces and a powerful father-daughter story.

Ross reached out to recent CMI graduate Dave Witt to be the film’s producer. CMI assistant professor Mitch Fowler was the director of photography and CMI assistant professor Sherwin Lau was editor and sound designer.

“The recognition and awards are confirmation that our work at CMI is top-notch,” Marks added. “I am so very proud of the cast and crew of ‘Princess.’”

The film is available to watch on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/120203590.