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Filmmaker of the Year

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Steve Gilliand, Daniel Boyd, Kevin Carpenter
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West Virginia State College Professor Steve Gilliland (left) stands with Filmmaker of the Year Daniel Boyd and Sutton Film Festival Director Kevin Carpenter.

Filmmaker and West Virginia State College Professor Daniel Boyd was selected as the state's Filmmaker of the Year at the 2003 Sutton Film Festival.

Boyd, who was chosen by a committee of leading film professionals from throughout the state, was presented with a sculpture created by West Virginia artist William Hopen recently at Sutton's historic Landmark Studio. Two of his most recent films, "Red Salt & Reynolds" and "Duara" were featured at the festival.

"Red Salt & Reynolds," which premiered last month at the Clay Center, tells the history of the salt industry in the Kanawha Valley through an Army Corps of Engineers archeological dig on land formerly owned by the Reynolds family. "Duara" is a shor t feat ure produced for an East African AIDS prevention organization. The film, which was a collaborative project between WVSC and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, tells the story of two young lovers who must deal with the AIDS issue.

The West Virginia Film Office sponsored the Filmmaker of the Year award, which is the first-ever of its kind.

WVSC professor Steve Gilliland was one of those who nominated Boyd for the award.

"Mr. Boyd has an impressive record of mentoring filmmakers," Gilliland said. "He has inspired the crewmembers (primarily comprised of students) to achieve the near impossible on his three feature films."

Boyd began his filmmaking career making documentaries; his early projects took him from the hobo "jungles" of the United States ("Homeless Brother") to the war-torn mountains of Guatemala ("Marcos de San Marcos"). Several of Boyd's short narrative film s were featured on regional and national television in the early and mid-'80s.

His first two award-winning feature films, "Chillers" and "Strangest Dreams" are currently in international video and television distribution. Boyd's third feature film, "Paradise Park," a dramatic-fantasy, is currently distributed by Silver Lake Inter national Pictures as "Heroes of the Heart."

This film won the Gold Award at the Houston International Film Festival and the Gold Plaque Award at the Chicago International Film Festival.

A professor of communications at West Virginia State College since 1985, Boyd has actively involved his filmmaking students in his professional projects. In 1994, Boyd established the Paradise Film Institute at WVSC for the purpose of supporting filmma king.

Sutton Mayor Craig Smith and WV Delegate Brent Boggs were in attendance at the Sutton Film Festival, which is in its fourth year. Boggs was recognized for his contributions to the restoration of the Landmark Studio.