WEST LIBERTY, WV, Aug. 30, 2016 — Plans are underway for the second West Liberty University 48-Hour Film Festival presented by the Highlands and planned for Sept. 16 – 18. The Film Festival will end with a public screening and awards ceremony at Marquee Cinemas, located at the Highlands shopping, dining and entertainment complex.

“The event begins on Friday, Sept. 16 when participants will randomly draw the name of the genre, character, prop, and line of dialogue that must be used in some way in their film. The participants will then have a total of 48 hours to fully write, shoot, and edit a 6-10 minute short film. Participants may work in teams of one to three persons, and are solely responsible for their own cast, crew, equipment, and locations,” explained Jared Thompson, director of the 48-hour film festival and WLU adjunct instructor.

Presented by The Highlands, Wheelhouse Creative LLC, Marquee Cinemas and West Liberty University, this year’s festival is open to all currently enrolled WLU students, along with students from high schools in Marshall, Ohio and Brooke counties.

Only 12 teams will be permitted to register and final submissions will be received at 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18 at the public screening. Students will compete for cash prizes for the top three places. Other prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories.

“This year we are expanding the participation to area high school students in Marshall, Ohio, and Brooke counties, so it’s extremely important for any interested students to preregister in advance to guarantee a place in the festival,” Thompson explained.

Team participants, family, friends and spectators will be admitted to the event at no cost to attend and view the screenings, however donations will be accepted at the door. All proceeds will be used for future WLU Film Festival projects.

“The film festival was a great experience. It teaches you how to hit a deadline, a seemingly impossible deadline, and you just are like wow, I did this in two days,” said Corey Knollinger, a WLU broadcasting major who participated last fall and plans on taking part in the festival again this year.

Last year the genre he was assigned was thriller, his prop was a softball and his assigned character was a college student. The film his team came up with was spoof on a softball killer on the loose. Though Knollinger didn’t win the competition he feels the festival added an invaluable component to his WLU education.

Winners from left Andrew Harper, Nick Morris and Jacob Trifonoff hold up the prop they had to work with last year in “The Little Things.”

To view last year’s winning submission, “The Little Things,” by WLU students Andrew Harper, Nick Morris and Jacob Trifonoff, please click here.

Students interested in participating as an individual or a team can contact Thompson at 304-336-5523 or [email protected] for more information, or visit

Preregistration of teams is encouraged and all teams must be present at the Film Festival kick-off on Sept. 16.

Students from the College of Arts and Communication are active in the television and recording studios of WLUTV-14 throughout the year, developing and producing more than 12 television shows weekly, seen on Comcast Channel 14. In addition, WLUTV-14 is streamed live via Flash technologies and the Internet to an unlimited number of viewers.

For more information on the Department of Journalism and Communication, please call Chairman Brian Fencl at 304-336-8433.