SUTTON, W.Va. – September 27, 2017 – Three nominees are in the running for the West Virginia Impact Award from the West Virginia FILMmakers Festival. The 2017 FILMmaker nominees are: Josh Baldwin, Stephen Hanson and Ben Berry.
The Impact Award is to honor the individual whose most recent work or contributions – during the twelve (12) calendar months between festivals – has had utmost effects on the West Virginia film industry, or simply upon the culture of film and media creation within the state. The West Virginia FILMmakers Festival Board of Directors oversees the selection.
Josh Baldwin (havenbrookmedia.com) of Lewisburg, WV. Josh has two documentaries he produced screening in the 2016 WVFF. “The Contender” (also director) which opens Saturday’s screening and “The Flood” about the flood in WV in Spring 2015, screening on Sunday. Josh is the owner of Havenbrook Media in Lewisburg. Josh founded this company 11 years ago. He has won WV Executive’s Young Gun Award and the State Journal’s “Forty under Forty.” He is a city council member, a rock musician, a filmmaker, a publisher, a climber, and a father of three. He founded this company on the mission of creating a better sense of place for both West Virginians and Appalachians. That core mission remains at the center of all his projects.
Stephen Hanson of Given, WV. Stephen is a filmmaker and photographer who has been working in WV’s film industry for many years. He has worn multiple hats on film sets, including producer, director, assistant director, writer, director of photography, location scout, location manager, production manager, photographer, and production assistant. His latest work as Assistant Director, “Exceptance,” is being shown during the current WV Filmmakers Festival in Sutton, and the film has also screened at the Red Phoenix International fest in PA, Diamond in the Rough fest in CA, Tampa Bay Underground fest, and Pittsburgh Independent fest. He was a producer and director of photography for the recent light-hearted short comedy “The Croquet Calamity” and a producer, writer and director of the recent short “The Last Thing You Need, ” which is making the festival circuit at this time. Some of the productions he has worked on in multiple capacities are: “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed,” “What the Night Can Do,” “The Making of the Mob: New York,” “The American West,” “House Hunters,” Paranormal Lockdown,” and numerous others. He is a strong believer in hiring WV labor and talent to work on productions filmed in the state and knows the hard work and dedication required to generate and showcase quality work product.
Ben Berry, the creative producer and editor at Mountain Craft Productions (mtncraft.com), graduated with a digital cinematography degree from Full Sail University in 2014. He was named Marion County’s Entrepreneur of the Year for his video and social media work with local businesses. Ben has worked in project management with large companies such as Puma, Samsonite, and Champion. He’s also recently launched a company called “Natives,” which is exploding onto the scene with a new brand of fly fishing apparel, lifestyle videos, and a focus on conservation. Mountain Craft’s award-winning short “Debutante” will screen on Sunday, October 6, as part of the WV Special screening group.
The Impact Award is designed by Blenko Glass Company and etched by Touch of Glass. The award will be presented at the awards reception for the 18th annual West Virginia FILMmakers Festival on Sunday, October 8, at 5:30pm, at Landmark Studio for the Arts in Sutton.