The Amazing Mortimer takes home top award

Huntington University’s Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts is pleased to announce that its first short film, The Amazing Mortimer, has won the Best of Fest award at the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival. The film also won the Best Story and Best Advanced Student Film categories. The awards ceremony was held April 21-22 in Willcox, Arizona.

“We are thrilled to have won the top award at the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival. It’s a very gratifying feeling to see how hard our team worked and then to have it recognized by a local film festival, especially in our first year of operation,” stated Wilson. “As an educator, I attempted to model for the students what it looks like to produce and direct a film. We also couldn’t have made the movie without them, so the ‘Best of Fest’ award truly belongs to them as well.”

The Amazing Mortimer, a 14-minute picture, is a story about a once-successful ventriloquist who finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Because his act no longer brings in huge audiences, Mortimer is faced with a loss of his home and his livelihood. As he reminisces about the glory days of the past, he is befriended by Thomas, a troubled young boy who is also facing a frightening future. Their newfound friendship prompts an act of sacrifice and generosity that gives them both hope for the future. The script was written by student Joe Stone of Glendale, Arizona, while Phil Wilson, Arizona Digital Media Arts Program Director, produced and directed the film. Fifteen students from the Arizona Center for DMA played key roles including script supervisor, grip, assistant camera, boom operator, audio mixer, composer, set designer, assistant editor, and production assistant. Eric Luce, an HU alum and current Learning Technology Manager at the Center for Digital Media Arts, served as the film’s assistant director and post production supervisor.

Huntington University’s Arizona location officially opened its doors in August 2016 with its first cohort of 18 students beginning classes one month later. The current spring semester enrollment is 47 students. The facility, a 30,000 square-foot building, houses bachelor’s degree programs in digital media arts including majors in film production, broadcast media, and graphic design. The facility features film and TV studios, high-end computer classroom/labs, private editing suites, a state-of-the-art TV control room, Foley pit, a host of EFP and cinema cameras, and lighting gear for student production work. To learn more about Huntington University’s Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts or to view The Amazing Mortimer’s trailer, go to