Independence Village rolls out red carpet

Lights. Camera. Action. There were men in tuxedos, women in dresses and even a red carpet at the first ever Independence Village Video Awards. A variety of free candy, drinks and an endless supply of popcorn filled the McLane Great Hall in Bawcom in preparation for the entertaining videos.


Nov. 13, the I.V.V. Awards show began at 7 p.m., emceed by Independence Village RA’s Nathan Forester and Lindsay Harrell.


Forester enjoyed being a part of the unique night.

Nathan Forester, left, presents Alex Lanoux with an award for best actor at the first ever Independence Village Video Awards. Seth Stephens/The Bells

Nathan Forester, left, presents Alex Lanoux with an award for best actor at the first ever Independence Village Video Awards. Seth Stephens/The Bells


“My favorite part about being an emcee was the great opportunity to showcase the hard work of the many talented individuals of UMHB,” he said.


The show kicked off with previews for upcoming feature films such as Avengers: Age of Ulton, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Mockingjay and more. Viewers were also treated to a brief video highlighting some of the projects of the I.V.V. Awards sponsor group, Astra Club.


Astra is a do-it-all student organization. They’ve done anything and everything from picking up trash around Lake Belton to serving food at a soup kitchen. They’re involvement earned them the UMHB student organizations Community Service Award. At the event, they had a table set up where they were accepting donations.


Next, attendees were able to watch all 10 videos that had been submitted for the contest. The subject matter in the videos ranged from a comedic look at the life of a nursing major, to interviews with the “twelve disciples,” to even the bathroom habits of sloths.


After all the videos were shown, there was a brief intermission. During this time, students were able to vote on which video was their favorite. This vote eventually decided who won the top prize. The judges, RD’s Chris Green, Colleen Mitchel and Traci Squarcette, were responsible for selecting the various other awards.


The best actress award went to Rachel Lewis for her role as sloth expert in Sloth Potty Training. She delivered absurdly funny lines about sloths’ bathroom habits with a seriousness which was surely hard to maintain with Leah White (best supporting actress) next to her, pretending to be a sloth.


The best actor award went to Alex Lanoux for his serious portrayal of a man who lost an election in Black Infinity. This video also won the most dramatic award and the drama began and ended with Lanoux’s superb work at inhabiting his character.


The best director award went to Justin Minchew for Black Infinity. This video clearly had the most professional look to it, which probably had a lot to do with the directing.


Minchew and his friends created the movie one weekend. He didn’t expect to win any awards, as creating the movie was satisfaction enough.


“We love doing stuff like this just for fun but we also have a sense of brotherhood in our art as we make it together,” he said. “I tried not to come into the awards with an expectation, but honestly just wanted people to enjoy the film.”


Lanoux emphasized that “in a society that doesn’t care about you, God does,” and credits his team’s success to that.


He said, “(God) desires our creativity, for what greater imitation of Him is there than to create?”


The people’s vote named its third best video, Disciples Interviews, its second place, Black Infinity and first place to 52 Things to Not Say on a First Date. 52 Things which kept most of the audience laughing for its entirety.


In total, it received four awards, which is even more impressive considering the group who produced it didn’t start until two nights before the entry deadline.


End scene.

Author: Seth Stephens

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