Taylor Horky, a freshman Cinema and Media Arts student, was named first runner up in the Dam Short Film Festival Saturday, February 14. The award was given in recognition of his short film Gracie.

The Dam Short Film Festival, run by the Dam Short Film Society, a non-profit Nevada corporation, is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada and takes its name from the nearby Hoover Dam. This years festivities marked the fifth anniversary of the event.

Horky, a native of Las Vegas, had previously entered the well-known film festival. Nevertheless he was still surprised when his film was announced as the first runner up.

“I truly was not planning on coming out of the awards night with anything. I was aware of the extreme talent at the festival and the people who are years ahead of me in their craft” said Horky.

Gracie is a short film about a man that has lost everything. Near the beginning of the film the main character's wife passes away and shortly after his daughter goes missing. Throughout the rest of the story the main character deals with the repercussions of these events.

Horky explained, “The film asks the question of not only where do we turn when we loose everything, but is there anyone out there to come to my rescue when everything does fail?”

In addition to creating the story line, Horky included scenes that describe the way in which God relates to humans during difficult times. The result of this theme was the portrayal of what Horky sees as the purpose behind his film.

“I also felt as though God spoke through the film throughout the four day festival and I was very content with the film fulfilling the purpose I feel God had for it. It was fantastic to know that the audience reacted in such a positive way.” said Horky.

The film was put together by a group of students from Biola’s Cinema and Media Arts department. The cast included 3 actors including a relative of Clark Gable who played the lead role.

While this is the most recent award that Horky has received, he has created other films that have been recognized at festivals. Some of his previous works include Chapters and 10 seconds which both won awards in California and Nevada film festivals. He is planning on making his next short film this summer.

Written by Nick Curmi, Media Relations Intern.