January 22, 2010
SOC Alumnus Wins Peoples Choice Award
Producer and Webster University Alumnus David Minnihan (BA Media Comm, ’07) recently won a People’s Choice Award as winner of the American Film Market’s (AFM) 2009 ‘Favorite Film Pitch’ contest.
AFM teamed with the People’s Choice Awards to create the contest that gets film pitches in front of producers, distributors and the voting public. Minnihan pitched his idea for the spy film, “Father John,” in a two minute video recorded at the AFM in November. Minnihan’s film, co-produced with Steven Long, is set in Shanghai because of time Minnihan spent there while a study abroad student at Webster University in St. Louis. During his trip and several subsequent return visits, Minnihan created the story line of the film and got involved in the Chinese film industry, managing the extras casting of the Merchant Ivory film, “The White Countess,” among other film projects.
Minnihan’s pitch was first selected among hundreds of submissions as one of five finalists by top industry experts. Then, tens of thousands of votes were cast for the top winner via the People’s Choice website. Minnihan’s winning video pitch can be viewed at: www.peopleschoice.com/pca/influence/AFM/.
As part of his People’s Choice Award, Minnihan will receive an AFM 2010 full access package that includes airfare and hotel for two to Los Angeles and scheduled meetings with producers and distributors.
"I am grateful to Webster University, since my whole involvement with the Shanghai independent film scene came about as a result of my study abroad experience," said Minnihan. "Anything China-related is red hot right now so I am confident in Father John's success. The story is tense and thrilling, character-based, and realistic. And we of course intend to collaborate with the local film talents in Shanghai to help us with the production."
Kathy Corley, Webster University film professor, was Minnihan’s instructor and advisor. “We are so proud of what David has accomplished, “ Corley said. “David's study abroad experience in China, combined with interest in global cinema and his study of Chinese language and culture, led directly to his first international film opportunity on a major feature film production.”
For more information or to arrange an interview with David Minnihan, contact Christine Eason, director of media relations at Webster University at: 314-968-5976 or at email@example.com.
About Webster University
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of more than 100 campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities. Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education, with an international presence that now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.
Now in its 36th year, The People’s Choice Awards is voted on entirely by the public for fan favorites in music, movies and television. Fred Nelson is the President of People’s Choice, and the website and awards show are produced by Procter & Gamble Productions.
About the American Film Market
The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the world’s producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs. Every year at the AFM more than 8,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, seminars, premieres, networking and parties. Participants come from over 70 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry. Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than $800 million in deals will be sealed — on both completed films and those that haven’t started shooting yet. More information can be found at www.AmericanFilmMarket.com.