Baylor Professor's Film "Endings" Wins Two Awards

Sept. 17, 2010
News Photo 4953Dr. Chris Hansen, associate professor and director of the film and digital media program at Baylor University.

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"Endings," a film written and directed by Chris Hansen, an associate professor and director of the film and digital media program at Baylor University, won two awards in early September.

Hansen won Best Director for the film at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival, held Friday, Aug. 27 to Sunday, Aug. 29. The film was also awarded Best Dramatic Feature at the Southern Winds Film Festival, held Friday, Sept. 10 to Saturday, Sept. 11, in Shawnee, Okla. Both awards were announced Saturday, Sept. 11.

"You never think you're going to win awards," Hansen said. "The whole point is to just get it seen in festivals, and awards are a really nice icing on that cake."

"Endings," which premiered at Seattle's True Independent Film Festival in June, is Hansen's third film.

"The film is a challenging one, structurally and dramatically, so I wasn't sure how people would respond to it," Hansen said. "Festival audiences are often literate and intelligent filmgoers, so it was especially nice that an audience like that appreciated the film."

The film is about three strangers who meet on the day they are all facing their deaths and end up going on a life-changing journey together.

"I came up with it because I was interested in exploring how people might react to knowing they were going to die, in some cases choosing to die, and what they might do with their last hours on earth," Hansen said.

"Endings" was filmed in Waco and Bellmead during the summer of 2008. Hansen shot it on a tight budget with the help of his film students and film professionals. The film was made for about $25,000.

"'Endings' took two years to complete, three if you go back to when I started writing it, and to have two festivals honor it in this way, and to have audiences respond to it the way they did at Southern Winds, which I attended, makes it feel like the work was worth it," Hansen said.

The film's next screenings are at Dallas VideoFest on Sunday, Sept. 26, and at the Secret City Film Festival on Sunday, Oct. 14, to Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Hansen has made two other films: a documentary, "Clean Freak," and a mock documentary, "The Proper Care and Feeding of an American Messiah." The latter was screened at 20 festivals and took home several awards.

Hansen is finishing the script to his latest film, which he plans to shoot next summer, about two married strangers who meet at a motel on a lonely night.

"Attraction turns into flirtation, they both know there's a line here, and they have to decide if they're going to cross it," Hansen said. "The story explores the vulnerabilities we all have and how those drive us to do things we might never do."

For more information about "Endings," visit http://www.endings-movie.com/.

by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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