YouTube video star hosting Falcon Film Festival

BOWLING GREEN, O.—He created the most-watched video in Internet history, and Saturday (March 15) he'll be performing at Bowling Green State University's Falcon Film Festival. Judson Laipply, whose “The Evolution of Dance” has been viewed by more than 100 million people since its debut on YouTube.com in 2006, will emcee the fourth annual festival at BGSU.

The free, public event will be held in 101 Olscamp Hall. Eight films by first-year BGSU students will be shown from 7-9 p.m. About 500 seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Laipply, an “inspirational comedian” and motivational speaker, will introduce the films as well as perform. “The Evolution of Dance” landed him appearances on such television shows as “Today,” “Good Morning America” and “Inside Edition,” and in publications including Time, USA Today and Rolling Stone. The Cleveland resident, who earned a master's degree in education from Bowling Green in 2000, has since founded Let's Dance Media, a company that explores the use of new media and creative content.

The eight movies to be screened at the festival are five-to-eight-minute glimpses of the student filmmakers' first-semester experience at BGSU, and were filmed and edited during the first month of spring semester. They have been judged as the best among 13 submitted by groups of four or five students each. That represents the most student participation in the event's four years, said Michael Hachtel, assistant director of residence life for information technology at BGSU and co-chair of the festival steering committee.

The committee reviewed the entries to ensure they followed the prescribed rules—no content beyond what would get a PG rating, for instance—and sent those that did to the four judges, who picked the winners, along with a Best Actor and Best Actress.

Each member of the first-place film's production team will receive an iPod Touch, while a Nintendo Wii will go to everyone on the runner-up team, and an iPod Nano to all members of the third-place group. The Best Actor and Best Actress will each receive a seven-inch, portable DVD player.

Audience members can also win at the festival, which will offer raffles for gift baskets with assorted prizes.

The BGSU offices of the Chief Information Officer and Residence Life are primary campus contributors to the event. Apple and Coca-Cola are also sponsors, as are BGSU's Student Technology Center, BG Experience program, Residential Computing Connection and Resident Student Association, which will broadcast the films on campus cable station WRSA after the festival. Kim Fleshman, program coordinator at the Student Technology Center, is the other steering committee co-chair.

For more information about the festival, visit www.bgsu.edu/falconfilmfest. The top two films from each of the last three years can be seen at the site.

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Media Contact: Scott Borgelt, BGSU Marketing & Communications, phone 419-372-8582.

(Posted March 10, 2008 )