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June 23, 2003


Coveted “Audience Award” goes to controversial 35mm short


Filmstock International Film Festival: www.filmstock.co.uk
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, recently received special recognition at the Filmstock International Film Festival in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. Stunning the intense field of international entries, Swartzwelder and his patient, modestly-budgeted labor of love walked away with one of only two Audience Awards presented at the fest this year—the other going to the film Ross Fango from Italy.


Based on a true story by internationally known speaker and sociologist Tony Campolo, The Least of These has already garnered 21 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.