Student documentary wins top prize at Delaware Valley Film Festival

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"Rink of Fire," a documentary on women's roller derby in the Philadelphia region produced in a Rowan University course last spring, won best documentary in the Delaware Valley Film Festival.

"Rink of Fire," a documentary on women's roller derby in the Philadelphia region produced in a Rowan University course last spring, won best documentary in the Delaware Valley Film Festival.

The regional festival, held at the Village Players of Hatboro (Pa.) Theater, showcases the best films and videos from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. Produced by six Rowan students for Professor Ned Eckhardt's documentary production course, "Rink of Fire" competed against both student and professional documentaries to take top honors in the festival.

"Rink of Fire," which was produced by an all-male crew, documented the sisterhood that develops among roller derby teammates.

All of the crew members on the production earned their bachelor's degrees in radio/television/film from Rowan last May. They include: Paul Foster of Haddon Heights, producer; Dave Diperstein of Cherry Hill, director and editor; Ryan Tapp of Somers Point, lead camera; Rob Foster of Howell, sound; and Ian Dorety of Auburn and Ian McAnlis of Folsom, Pa., editors.

Two other documentaries, also produced in Eckhardt's course, were official selections at the festival. "Tiny Dancer," which focuses on anorexia in ballet dancers, and "Burning Out," an anti-marijuana study, were featured.

Since 1990, documentaries produced in Eckhardt's course have won over 60 regional and national awards, including a student Emmy, six CINE Golden Eagle awards, two Dore Schary Awards, three Gracie Awards, and many film festivals. Many of the documentaries which address addictions are being distributed throughout the United States, and some are in museums and collections.

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