BEA Festival of Media Arts gives Best of Festival award to 2 students

By Gus Bode

Despite an 80 percent cut in’ 26:46 budget, the student-run documentary show managed to garner national recognition again by winning six national awards last week.

Six students received awards, including the prestigious Best of Festival award, which went to Simon Edelman and Jon Hayes for their documentary, “Waiting for Time:The Lives of USP Marion,” a documentary about federal inmates in the United States Penitentiary in Marion.

“It’s great for someone in California or Las Vegas to say, ‘Good job; here is an award,'” Hayes said.


The initial awards were given out last week, but the award festival will take place April 22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Earlier this semester, received two student Emmys for the Marion prison documentary and another for a short film on the University’s flag master Bob Reid.

The awards won were in the student video competition, including Hayes and Edelman, who won the competition’s Best of Festival Award/King Foundation Award, along with first place in the documentary category. Corey Byers and Brittany Dust tied for second place in the same category with their entry, “Beacon of Hope:The Cross at the Crossroads.”

In the student audio competition’s specialty program, Jim Foerster took first place for his piece, “Poetic Moment in my Life.” Under the same heading, comedy/drama category, James Wilcox was awarded first place for his piece, “Big John’s Butchery.”

Under student scriptwriting competition’s feature short, Corey Byers took home third place for his piece, “Father, Forgive me.”

Along with winning Best in Festival, Hayes and Edelman received $1,000, a plaque and a copy of an editing software program.

Even with the exhausted budget, Hayes said he is proud can still produce a great show every month.


SIUC has been at festivals before, competing against schools like University of California Los Angeles, University of California Berkley and New York University, all of which are nationally recognized universities, Hayes said. And this is helping SIUC get into that category.

“It puts the school on the map competing against everyone in the country,” Edelman said.

Reporter Matthew McConkey can be reached at [email protected]