October 7, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Jason Brown Production Joins XFINITY Film Festival Collective

~2014-2015 is the Year of the Arts at Valdosta State University~

VALDOSTA — “Miracle Boy,” produced by Jason Brown, is now part of the XFINITY by Comcast Film Festival Collective. The on-demand program features a variety of short films and other content from film festivals across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. 

“We’re excited that so many people across the country will be able to watch our film,” said Brown, an assistant professor in Valdosta State University’s Department of Communication Arts. “We were able to shoot in one of the most beautiful places in the world and that comes across up on the screen — and now, I guess it will come into people’s homes.”

“Miracle Boy” was selected to join the Film Festival Collective due, at least in part, to it winning the Top Grit title for Best Overall Film at the 2013 Indie Grits Festival in Columbia, S.C., along with it being recognized as Programmer’s Choice Short Film at the 2013 Virginia Film Festival.

“Miracle Boy” celebrated its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in Italy in September of 2012. The 17-minute film tells the story of a boy who is injured in a farming accident and then subsequently bullied by other boys. Before long, one of the “mean” boys realizes the error of his ways and risks his life to try to right the wrong. It was adapted for the screen by Jake Mahaffy from a short story written by West Virginia native Pinckney Benedict, and it was shot entirely in Williamsburg, W.Va., using local actors, receiving support from the Greenbrier Valley Theater, the local community, and a mini grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

“Because of the powerful message of the film, bullying and taking responsibility for our actions, it’s important that we continue to find larger and larger audiences,” said Brown, a West Virginia native. “You can only make the best film possible and hope that people connect with the film as deeply as we have.”

With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, Brown’s film joins the Film Festival Collective at just the right time. 

Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication arts from Concord University in West Virginia in 1997, a Master of Arts in screenwriting and film studies from Hollins University in Virginia in 2004, and a Master of Fine Arts in film and video production from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2008. His teaching experience includes positions at Lander University, Bowling Green State University, McNeese State University, West Virginia State University, and his alma maters. He has worked as a producer, director, writer, and/or editor on more than a dozen productions and served in various capacities at a number of film festivals. He joined the VSU Mass Media Area faculty in the fall of 2012. His area of professional focus is on growing indigenous filmmakers in underdeveloped areas.

Brown is in the process of finishing a longer documentary about the John Sayles film “Matewan,” while also developing a few additional narrative projects.

Contact Jason Brown at (229) 333-5820 or jasonebrown@valdosta.edu for more information.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

Jason Brown's commitment as a film-making professional who also teaches the next generation meets the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.