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DMA students place first in iNRBWaxahachie, Texas — March 27, 2014 — Southwestern Assemblies of God (SAGU) students Jonathan Utley, Kyla Burke, Ryan Espinosa, and Ryan Wermich competed and won the Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters (iNRB) 36-hour Digital Video (36DV) challenge on February 24, 2014.

Each year, the iNRB hosts a variety of competitions at the NRB National Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, that allow teams of college students to challenge their skills in one of three areas: audio, news broadcast, and short film. The theme for this year's 36DV challenge was centered around the question, "Is America still exceptional?" Each team had 36 hours to turn in their projects, and the SAGU 36DV team came out first in the short film category.

The title of the short film, "Static," was primarily Espinosa's idea. "It came to thirty minutes before the film had to be submitted, and we were all huddled around our computer, still brainstorming for a name," said Wermich, who acted as the short film's main character. "Then Espinosa said to title it 'Static', and it fit."

"We chose the title for two reasons: the static that older televisions have when switching stations, and the static of a person who is stagnant in life, unchanging," Espinosa stated. "The irony is that, by the end of the film, the main character chooses to break the status quo and prove that it is the actions of the individual that really make the difference in society."

The judges were impressed by the SAGU team's work, and as the first place winners, the four won a $1,000 cash prize that was divided evenly among them.

"It's so encouraging to know that the team I was a part of to win this competition is the same group of people I'll be working with for SAGU's first feature length film," Espinosa remarked. "We have such a talented group of people leading Drawing a Blank, and I can't wait to see what the final product will be."

Utley embodied the group's mutual feelings with these words: "There is nothing like being part of a team to create a product, especially when that team has some of your closest friends on it. Yes, we got money, but I wouldn't have traded the memories of this past weekend for anything else in the world. That's what doing this challenge is all about."

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.


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