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image | MIAD2015 alumnus Kyle James’ (Time-Based Media) senior thesis project “The Death Drive” has put the young filmmaker on the map, earning the title of Best Short Film at the 2015 Lone Star Film Festival.

James, along with partner Michael Bourne, submitted “The Death Drive” in May, “We were very surprised to get the film accepted into the festival, so we decided to go to Texas to attend,” said James.

James, Bourne and crewmember Drama Ziems flew to Fort Worth to attend the ninth annual Lone Star Film Festival. The trio had all-access badges, which provided access to events and screenings throughout the festival, “We attended events with famous writers and actors like Malcolm McDowell, Bill Paxton, Betty Buckley and David Eisenstein. We were shocked at the quality of films we were seeing,” added James.

After their film was shown, they did a Q & A presentation on stage, all the while thinking “How did our film sneak into this festival?!”

When it came time for the awards ceremony the trio took their seats in back, dressed in jeans and sweatshirts, “Clearly we were not expecting anything,” said James.

Three awards were given at the festival, best feature film, best documentary and best short film. The Death Drive was awarded best short film, taking home a plaque and cash prize.

James and Bourne have only submitted the film to a handful of other festivals, “We love attending festivals, but right now focusing on the next project is priority number one,” added James. 

“The Death Drive” was awarded Audience Favorite at the Wisconsin Filmmaker’s Screening, shown at the Milwaukee Film Festival and exhibited at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.