SONscreen Film Festival awards

Walla Walla University students take top awards at 2016 SONscreen Film Festival

Walla Walla University students took top awards for the second year in a row at the SONscreen Film Festival.

Seven students from Walla Walla University attended the three-day festival in Washington, D.C., March 31 to April 2. Grant Perdew, 2015 international communications graduate, won Best in Festival for the film “The Exquisite Outdoors.” Erik Edstrom, 2015 industrial design graduate, won the Best Cinematography award for the same film, which also took the top prize in the Best Dramatic Short category.

David Crawford, assistant professor of communications, said, “SONscreen is both an opportunity to network with other Christian professionals and a chance to be affirmed that pursuing a career in film really is an option for anyone, even an Adventist, who is willing to work hard. I hope to see a lot more WWU student films and a lot more WWU students in attendance next year.”

Perdew and Edstrom were both WWU students working for ASWWU Video when they made “The Exquisite Outdoors.” ASWWU Video is one of 17 departments that comprise the Associated Students of Walla Walla University (ASWWU). ASWWU Video employs nine students who create a video each week during the school year.

“These videos are incredibly diverse,” said Randy Folkenberg, 2015-2016 ASWWU president, “with some seeking to increase awareness of an issue or initiative, others sharing student stories and offering encouragement, some advertising for major events, and others providing first class entertainment.”

Folkenberg said that many students put their energy and passion into making “The Exquisite Outdoors.”

For the 2015 SONscreen festival, Edstrom and Jesse Churchill, a 2015 theology graduate, took the festival’s top award for their film “The Way: A Modern Retelling of Saul’s Redemption.” Perdew, Edstrom, and Churchill all studied video production under Jerry Hartman, associate professor of communications. Hartman’s own community-directed documentary “Indigenous Suriname” was instrumental in winning a $10,000 award for the Organization of Indigenous Peoples in Suriname from the United Nations Caribbean Population Awards.

The SONscreen Film Festival is an annual event for young Christian adults who have a desire to use their skills in film to make creative productions for social awareness, outreach, and uplifting entertainment. The festival is sponsored by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. It started in 2002 and has become a common stop for established up-and-coming Christian filmmakers where they can share their creative work, gain exposure, and network with other media and film professionals.

To view “The Exquisite Outdoors” and other ASWWU Video productions, visit To watch “The Way” visit Learn more about ASWWU at

Posted April 15, 2016

“The Exquisite Outdoors” won Best in Festival, Best Cinematography, and Best Dramatic Short at the 2016 SONscreen Film Festival.
To watch “The Exquisite Outdoors” and other ASWWU Video productions, visit