Student Receives Filmmakers Award at High Falls International Film Festival, May 14

Actress Pat Carroll presents inaugural X-Factor Filmmakers award to RIT’s Lindsay Berkebile

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Lindsay Berkebile, a third-year film and animation student at Rochester Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the inaugural X-Factor Filmmakers Award.

The award was created by one of Berkebile’s RIT classmates, Lauren Tracy. Tracy, a student filmmaker with aspirations to work in the film industry, wants to help other emerging women advance in the field. Tracy teamed up with the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival, a venue dedicated to promoting women and their films.

Film festival guest and actress Pat Carroll will present Berkebile with the award at a Rochester High Falls International Film Festival event at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at the Susan B. Anthony House, 17 Madison Street, Rochester.

Berkebile will receive $1800 toward the making of her senior thesis film.

“When I found out I won, I was in shock,” says Berkebile. “I just checked my bank account and was stressing about how I was going to pay for the making of my thesis film. This will help a great deal.”

Berkebile’s thesis film will be live action using stop-motion animation and pixelation effects.

Lauren Tracy, a fourth-year film and animation student, created the X-Factor Filmmakers Award Fund along with her father Rick Tracy, a Boston-area graphic designer. The father-daughter team launched the X-Factor Filmmakers Web site, to sell t-shirts created especially for the award fund.

“This only marks the beginning of the X-Factor Filmmakers Award,” says Lauren Tracy. “Congratulations to Lindsay for being the first recipient of this award. I know Lindsay will put to the funds to good use and I look forward to seeing her completed film.”

Lauren Tracy created the fund to help young women like Berkebile who have tremendous talent, but not the financial resources to make headway in the film industry.

The sale of each shirt combined with monies from supporters of the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival yielded the $1,800 award total.

“We were pleased to see great work from all the award applicants,” says Catherine Wyler, Rochester High Falls International Film Festival artistic director. “Lindsay’s goals and artistry though really stood out. We’re pleased to work with the X-Factor Filmmakers Fund in helping to supplement Lindsay’s thesis project. Lindsay is at the beginning of a very promising career.”

MEDIA NOTE: Berkebile and Tracy will both be available for interviews at today’s event.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Rosie Taravella, executive director of Rochester High Falls International Film Festival, (585) 279-8307.