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Lycoming College senior, Jason Graff, was recently honored by the Best Shorts Competition with an Award of Recognition: Documentary Short (Student) for his film “Ramona.” As a digital media communications and filmmaking major, with a minor in photography, Graff is making waves in the film community, with recognition in festivals all over the world, including the Clifton Film Festival and the Red Corner Festival.
The Best Shorts is a prestigious competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators from around the world the positive exposure they deserve. “Ramona” was chosen by a panel of judges based on its quality, creativity and technical aspects, and the award reflects Graff’s creative vision as well as the hours of thoughtful planning and execution he put into creating the piece. Graff is in good company with other Best Shorts winners who went on to win Oscars, Emmys, Tellys and other awards.
“Ramona” tells the touching story of a married couple dealing with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS. In the film, the character Grant is shown to be a loving husband, who puts constant effort into tending to his wife, Ramona, who suffers from the presently incurable disease, cheering for her and learning how to care for her from her nurses. In fact, this unconditional love is the most powerful driving force behind the whole film. “Ramona” is also relatable to many others who did or are going through similar situations.
It took Graff countless hours of work to produce “Ramona,” as he led a one-man team throughout the whole process: He did everything from shooting to editing audio and footage, while constantly seeking feedback from his classmates and professor. Graff even had to learn how to use some of the medical equipment at one point, so that he could figure out the best way to include them in the documentary.
It is to Graff not just a work to be proud of, but also a tremendous confidence boost. “Making this film has put the skills I learned at Lycoming to the test. Winning a category was a great honor and at the same time made me feel more confident in myself,” said Graff. “I have progressed a lot at Lycoming College not only as a student, but also as a videographer, photographer and editor.”