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Student invited to Sundance Film Festival

Jan. 21, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University student is getting the hands-on education of a lifetime for a film, video and media studies major.

Alex Inkster of Kalamazoo has been selected to participate in the Adobe Reel Ideas Student Film Program at the Sundance Film Festival. Inkster arrived in Park City, Utah, home of the world-famous film festival created by Robert Redford, on Jan. 14, working with other film students from around the world. He returns from Utah on Jan. 24.

Inkster is serving as the cinematographer for one of eight student groups filming documentaries as part of the Slamdance competition. Inkster's group has chosen to make a film about a stray dog in Park City. In addition, he is participating in educational workshops in production planning and technology.

"There are a lot of celebrities here," Inkster says. "It's a touristy town, but it's nice. It's been fun meeting a lot of people."

Inkster, who plans to graduate in June, recently was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award and is working on the Kalamazoo Youth Media Initiative, which will premiere in February.

WMU students are no strangers to the Adobe Reel Ideas Student Film Program. Three film, video and media studies students from WMU took part in the program at the Cannes Film Festival in France, winning first place in 2007 and third in 2008 with their teams. This is the first time the program has been held at Sundance.

"This is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Dr. Jennifer Machiorlatti, associate professor of communication and Inkster's mentor, "to study with master filmmakers, work collaboratively with students from around the world and participate first hand in one of America's most prestigious film festivals. Alex will wear his WMU Bronco colors with pride."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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