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The exterior of Moore Hall.

Bumping the film competition

Arts and media student and recent alum take top honors at Traverse City Film Festival

Contact: Emily Stulz

​Central Michigan University animation student Maggie Buerkle and broadcast and cinematic arts alum Don Blubaugh, '18, received top honors in the Bumper Awards at the 2018 Traverse City Film Festival.

Bumpers are 20- to 60-second short films played in lieu of commercials before the feature films during the festival. The top three Bumpers are awarded cash prizes.

Blubaugh's live-action bumper "Game Night" features a group of friends playing Pictionary. In his second year entering the competition, Blubaugh worked with a group of friends to develop the video. 

"It took us a few hours to come up with a solid idea," Blubaugh said, "and then about four hours of filming, then another three hours of editing."

Buerkle's animated bumper "Photobomb" showcases a young man taking selfies during iconic moments of famous movies.

"It feels like a dream that something I worked so hard on was actually shown to so many people," Buerkle said. "The fact that so many people enjoyed it makes it a million times better."

"Nor Any Drop to Drink"

As creative action sponsor of the festival, the College of the Arts and Media held a special screening in the Bijou by the Bay Theatre for the documentary "Nor Any Drop to Drink." The documentary tells the story of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. It was created by a team including Blubaugh, faculty members Cedric Taylor and Eric Limarenko, and director of new media initiatives Dan Bracken.

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