Highbridge Film Festival: A Culturally Engaging Weekend


Late last night, my family and I got back from our journey to Wilmore, Kentucky, where our oldest is a senior media communications major at Asbury University. My wife and I met there, when it was still Asbury College, some…several…years ago.

Today, Asbury has one of the nation’s finest media communications departments. Yes I’m boasting. But yes it’s true. Every other year, Asbury sends a team of media interns to the Olympics. Asbury grads have worked on such films as Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, and Star Trek Into Darkness and are in positions with news, entertainment and other media outlets around the globe. I could go on.

Yes, I’m biased. So sue me. This is my school. This is my blog.

Checking the flux capacitor.

Checking the flux capacitor.

Over the weekend we attended the 10th Annual Highbridge Film Festival showcasing some amazing student produced films. You can view the livestream of the event here. Observant viewers will see my family standing in line behind the Back to the Future DeLorean in the minutes before the doors opened to Hughes Auditorium.

On Friday night, we had the opportunity to view As It Is In Heaven, a micro-budget film produced a couple of years back with a team that was made up of more than 90% Asbury students. Our son, and his Jeep, included. The film has been making the rounds and recently won the top award at the Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, South Carolina.

It was a great family weekend. It’s always great to be back on the Asbury campus. Unlike previous festival visits the weather was clear and warm.

I will admit that, each time I have the chance to experience what the media comm program is doing, that I have the feeling that I arrived on campus 35 years too soon. In my day (crap, that sounds old), communications meant speech and writing, and our productions required us to build our stage from the ground floor of the gym in a matter of just two weeks (so that it could be a gym again). I look at the newspaper and yearbook offices and remember the days of waxing down the copy for the newspaper layout and drawing the yearbook layout by hand to submit to the publisher. I had to commit to page position, I couldn’t preview it on the screen.

All that being said, I am delighted and amazed at what is being done by Asbury students these days, my son among them. True, his senior film project has had an extra share of challenges. That’s another story. But he’s gained some amazing experience and his resume rocks. He’ll be hanging around a bit longer to complete his degree. Not everyone finishes everything in four years, and that’s okay. But we’re looking forward to his film career.


Luke is talking to Disney animator and Director, Barry Cook. Cook began with Disney in 1981 working on “Tron.” His directorial debut was with “Mulan.” They’re discussing Luke’s dream of designing video games.

And the beach house he’s going to buy us.

What’s most amazing about all of this is that young, bright, talented, Christians are engaging the culture through media arts. It’s amazing that they know they’re not limited to producing movies like Son of God or God’s Not Dead. While those may be fine movies (I’ve not seen them), it’s equally important for Christians to be engaged in the “secular” projects.

If you believe that all truth and beauty comes from our Creator, then it’s all for Him anyway. That’s not an empty platitude.  I believe that many of us are called to serve Him and allow our lives to point toward Him through the creative process.  We are made in His image.  He’s the ultimate creator.

Works for me.

And it works for the hundreds of students who have gone, or are going through the media communications program at Asbury University.  I’m glad we get to share the experience with them.

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