Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Lycoming College professor to share screening of new independent film, “Brave Little Hawk”

Lycoming College professor to share screening of new independent film, “Brave Little Hawk”

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“A story as passionate and real as this one about family should be heard by everyone,” said Gavin Mannino ’25, film and video arts major, about one Lycoming College professor’s new independent film.

Leah Bedrosian Peterson, professor of film and video arts at Lycoming College, was awarded with a Faculty Research and Production Award Grant by The University Film and Video Foundation to support the post production color grading of her short narrative film, “Brave Little Hawk.” The film placed in the quarterfinals of the prestigious ScreenCraft Film Fund and the Outstanding Screenplays Shorts Competition, both of which are juried by Oscar-winning screenwriters and filmmakers.

“It’s quite an honor to be selected for a grant by an organization that bases its award on scholarly and artistic achievement as well as projects that have a clear research trajectory,” said Peterson.

“Brave Little Hawk” follows the story of two families struggling with their home lives in rural Pennsylvania. The families become intertwined when the Oberlin family’s grandmother wanders off after tensions rise in the house. “Themes related to single parenthood, elderly dementia, teen angst, sibling rivalry, unstable living environments, and relationship dynamics reflected in multi-generational family units are introduced in the film,” said Peterson.

With the support from a Student Research Grant and a Professional Development Grant by Lycoming College, Peterson hired students as research scholars to help with the preproduction and production of the film, which took place in both Williamsport and Renovo, Pennsylvania. The following faculty, alumni, and students participated:

  • Chip Edmonds, Executive Vice President at Lycoming College
  • John Shaffer, Building and Grounds Supervisor at Lycoming College
  • Stephen St. Francis Decky, film and video arts professor
  • Mitchell Wheary ’20
  • Emily Shaffer ’19
  • Elizabeth Shaffer ’24
  • Gavin Maninno ’25
  • Rosemary Tovar ’23, Lycoming College Gaul Scholar
  • Emily Doherty ’23, Lycoming College Gaul Scholar
  • Achilles Wice ’24, Lycoming College Gaul Scholar

“Working on the set of ‘Brave Little Hawk’ with Leah Peterson and a couple of alumni and classmates was such an honor and a privilege,” said Rosemary Tovar ’23, film and video arts major with minors in photography and business administration. “I learned about the technical part of filmmaking while also getting familiar with advanced camera, lighting, and audio equipment by troubleshooting and problem solving. From being a part of this film set, I gained a more realistic perspective of how this career is going to be more for me in the future.”

“Each of the students showed initiative and the desire to learn,” said Peterson. “They worked incredibly hard and were invested in the vision of the film. The process of filmmaking is a true collaboration, so when all members of a production team work seamlessly together, then it makes for an incredible experience for everyone.”

In their evaluation of “Brave Little Hawk,” a judge at The Golden Script Competition said, “Among the first things to notice is the writer’s narrative voice. Their genuine approach towards the concept and characterization elevates the read experience and contributes to the overall authenticity. The keen attention to detail and the goal to define a set of specific traits for each of the characters give us a better idea of the scope and complexity. At the same time, we are curious to find out how the different storylines will eventually intertwine and bring the story to its conclusion most organically.”

The trailer for “Brave Little Hawk” can be found at Peterson looks forward to examining the complexities of relationships through her writing and filmmaking. Stay up to date with her film and art at

Aspiring filmmakers, 2D animators, and content creators thrive in Lycoming College film and video arts program. Our curriculum covers various levels of production, editing and post production, cinematography, sound design, 2D animation, and film studies. More information on studying film and video arts at Lycoming College is available at:

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