ChattState Students Win ‘Best 3-Minute Film’

May 31, 2016 | Betty Proctor | College Advancement

(back row) Dr. Chris Willis, and PFTT students Christopher Doty, Jet Smith, Blake Ownbey, (front row) Chandler Gibson, Nathan Smith, Benjamin Banks.

Future filmmakers of Chattanooga take note: “This is the best program for aspiring filmmakers, hands down,” shares Chad Wilson, executive producer of film, ‘Hear Me.’ The ‘best program’ Chad refers to is the Professional Film and Television Training program (PFTT) at Chattanooga State Community College. The PFTT class recently won ‘Best 3-Minute Film’ at the Southeastern University Revolution Film Festival in Lakeland, Florida.

“This program is one-of-a-kind. There is no other local filmmaking program in Chattanooga that gives you this much experience for the cost,” states Chad. As a graduate of the program Wilson says he has grown as a filmmaker and had the opportunity to create several short films that have gained local attention from film festivals. “I’m very fortunate to be a teacher’s assistant now and see many more rising filmmakers who have gone on to win major awards,” says Chad.

Interested in a challenge, 15 members of the PFTT-250 class entered the “100-Hour Film Race,” an international film competition. Filmmakers spend the next 100 hours planning, filming, and producing a short film of no more than 2-3 minutes in length. Contestants must include various themes and items that are announced on race day. Filmmakers compete to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.

The experience is one that students will not forget. Using Chattanooga businesses and landmarks such as Sluggo’s Café, The Stone Cup, Walnut Street Bridge, and Coolidge Park for the film’s backdrop, the students found the owners of these venues to be flexible and enthusiastic while they shot their film.

“’Hear Me’ has been one of many exciting and skill-building films on which I have worked,” explains Samantha Doss, producer. “Getting to be producer for the short film proved to be challenging yet a great stepping stone toward my future. Working alongside my fellow classmates on something we all share a great passion for continues to fuel my fire and encourage me to pursue my dream,” she adds.

Class member Ben Banks felt strongly about the role he and his classmates played in its production. “I just want to say how important it is that we came together as a team to create this film. It was a great experience to be involved in the initial concept meeting and only three days later helping edit the final product.”

Though the class film did not place in the top 20 in the 100-Hour Film Race, it also was submitted it to Southeastern University’s Revolution Film Festival in Lakeland, FL, where it was later nominated and won as ‘Best 3-Minute Film.’

For more information about the Professional Film and Television Training program, contact Dr. Chris Willis, First Tennessee Chair of Excellence & Associate Professor in Media Technologies, 423-697-4441 or email

Photo above: (back row) Dr. Chris Willis, and PFTT students Christopher Doty, Jet Smith, Blake Ownbey, (front row) Chandler Gibson, Nathan Smith, Benjamin Banks.

Photo below: PFTT students display their winning trophy for ‘Best 3-Minute’ Film in our studio.


Chattanooga State Students Win Award for Best 3-Minute Film