Friday, June 26, 2009

Quality Filmmakers at Virginia Tech

Paul Harrill and his wife Ashley Maynor at the Kindigs^

I ran into Paul Harrill at the Perry F. Kendig Awards Wednesday and wasn't aware of who he was until afterwards. He reminded me that I had interviewed him several years ago for a column I was writing when he was working on the film that won him one of the Kindig awards.

Paul's a Virginia Tech professor whose 30-minute movie, "Quick Feet/Soft Hands," the story of a minor league baseball player and his wife dreaming of the Bigs, has a date with PBS and took a Kendig for visual arts. Here's a trailer for it. His movie "Gina, an Actress, Age 29" won short film awards at the Santa Fe, Nashville and Sundance film Festivals.

Paul and his documentary-making wife, Ashley Maynor (who also teaches at Tech), and I chatted briefly after the awards dinner, talking about projects and me asking if either of them would be interested in making a movie of a book project I either will or won't undertake in a month or so (this one's really and truly made for the movies), but they didn't seem interested. Still, I think I'll ask both of them to speak at the next writer's conference at Hollins (I recruited Roland Lazenby today; he has written some very popular sports books and his journalism students' coverage of the Tech shootings a couple of years ago embarrassed the professional media with its quality).

Paul writes a blog that concentrates heavily on film and it is literate, passionate and a great read. It's here. Of the group of eight winners of the Kindigs, my money goes on Paul to make the biggest splash ultimately. His work is quite good; too good for a small market.

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