Wayne State College Students Bring Home Iowa Oscars

WAYNE, Neb. (May 24, 2021) – Two Wayne State College students and one recent graduate earned awards their first time at the Iowa Oscars, a competition of the Iowa Motion Picture Association (IMPA), May 22.

This was not Dr. Mike White’s first time at the Iowa Oscars, he won one of their highest honors again this year. He won the award of excellence this year for best feature film and he won the same highest honor last year for best screenplay.

“This is more than a student competition. Students are competing against professionals in most divisions. Honorable mentions are given in the only student-only competition,’’ said Dr. Mike White of the Wayne State College Electronic Media and Film program.  “You must qualify for the Iowa Oscars. It is hard to qualify. You have to be an Iowa resident or be connected to an Iowa school. You must receive an 85 percent approval to even get nominated, then they only give one award for each category for the award of excellence and you must have a 95 percent approval by the judges to earn the award of excellence. If you win the award of excellence, that is the highest honor they can give. You can win in a category and not be awarded the award of excellence.”

Wayne State College students worked with White on his projects.

“I create these professional films so that they can have the experience of working on a professional set and working with professional actors and actresses,’’ White said.

Shelby Hagerdon of Smithland, Iowa and Ally Boyd of Papillion’s film “Sigmund and Dora” won the Best Art Direction (Production Design) Award of Achievement at the IMPA Awards in a category that included everyone. This is a professional category. The film also received an Honorable Mention in Best Student Film Category.

Many of the crew members of both “To Live Again” and “A Day with Lily” were Wayne State College students. Three Wayne State College students worked with White including WSC senior Ally Boyd as assistant director on both projects, Shelby Hagerdon as Co-Producer on both projects and WSC junior Nathan Reiland Smith of Sioux Falls, S.D. as the Sound Engineer.

Hagerdon graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in history, interdisciplinary studies – film production and theory and minors in geospatial technology and political science.

Hagerdon has been accepted to the Emerson College MFA screenwriting program. This is the number five school in screenwriting in the country. Hagerdon graduated and is a producer at 44i in Sioux Falls, S.D. She is also going to attend Emerson MFA in Boston. She will do it remotely and go several weeks a year.

Wayne State College, a leading, public four-year college in northeast Nebraska, is a proud member of the Nebraska State College System.