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June 10, 2003


Controversial 35mm short film’s awards total now at 20


Thunderbird International Film Festival: Mariam Arthur/818-613-1859, tiff@suu.edu
Filmmaker Contact: Rik Swartzwelder/863-602-5796, www.oldfashionedpictures.com
Press Photos for Download: www.oldfashionedpictures.com/the_least_of_these.html


Rik Swartzwelder’s beautiful and haunting 35mm short film, The Least of These, was honored with three more awards at the recent Thunderbird International Film Festival in Cedar City, Utah. With awards for Best First Film/Short Drama, Best Cinematography (Rob Lyall), and Best Set Design (Tracy Cochran), The Least of These was the most singled out flick of the fest.


Based on a true story by internationally known speaker and sociologist Tony Campolo, The Least of These has already garnered 20 awards and over 40 “official selection” screenings during its eleven months on the film festival circuit. Filmed at the historic Tastee Diner near Baltimore, Maryland, the atmospheric, character-driven film tells the story of how the fading, isolated life of a diner owner and the dull routine of his late night crowd are forever changed by the unusual proposition of a stranger.


A graduate of The Florida State University’s Graduate Motion Picture Conservatory, Rik Swartzwelder is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened at over 100 film festivals, internationally, and garnered over 35 major awards—including the “Student Emmy” for his highly acclaimed master’s thesis film, Paul McCall, and the Crystal Heart Award from the prestigious Heartland Film Festival for his multiple award-winning 35mm short, The Least of These. Rik has also sold two feature scripts, one treatment, and is currently prepping to direct his first feature.