2005 Inaugural Film Competition Winner Caryn Waechter

Caryn Waechter, a native Californian, recently completed her Masters of Fine Arts in Directing at Columbia University. Sparked by positive comments over a super 8mm short ("Dream Trip") created for a film course at Boston College, she was urged to explore film as a career path. Having grown up in Austria and Germany, and having traveled extensively in her youth, Caryn delights in exploring different cultures and customs. Inspired by dance and music, her style has been described as "lyrical," "musical," and "intuitive" in her short film "BEAT." This super 8mm film, which was recognized at festivals throughout Europe and the U.S., was an experimental sequence taken from the first pages of her feature-length screenplay of the same name. Caryn enjoys writing screenplays, collecting vinyl, listening to electronic music, roller-skating, running, snowboarding, dancing, travel, and photography. When she can afford another turntable, she plans to teach herself to spin and mix records. Since music and movement have had a considerable effect on her films, she plans to keep developing the bridge between these two rhythmic, influential, and inspiring media.

Winning Entry "God is Good"

A Korean immigrant couple raises their son as an American in a comfortable suburban tri-level home with a spacious green yard. Harold and his angelic friend Mina, like other normal seven-year-olds, explore dark corners of the backyard, where they find a fragile frog seeking shelter. They capture this curious creature and place it in a jar. Like the frog, Harold's mother, Jung, is trapped in her dual roles as housewife and mother in her husband's domestic prison. Her only extension outside of the home is a laundry line holding the family's linens. Having almost confronted her husband about his adulterous escapades, Jung resolves to make this the final day she will tolerate his philandering. In preparation, she cleans the house, organizes the family's important papers, writes the final entries in her journal, and makes sure Harold knows how much she loves him. In the dead of night, when Harold sleepily walks out the front door to find his mother sitting in his father's beloved Corvette, time stops. This moment will forever burn in his memory: the moment his mother betrays him. Written by Dennis Lee, "God is Good" tells the story of innocence lost--seven-year-old Korean-American Harold Choi's story, unfolding on a beautiful summer day in 1978 before he witnesses his mother's self-immolation in her cheating husband's sparkly red Corvette. This film is based on a true story.

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