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A&S International Film Studies Students Win Best Documentary at 2022 UKY Film Festival  

By Nizhoni McDarment  

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Christian Branham, a University of Kentucky senior from Lexington, and Nicolas Volosky, a University of Kentucky Alum from Walton, Kentucky, won Best Documentary and Best Feature at the Spring 2022 UKY Film Festival for their film “Rumble.”  

“Rumble” follows professional wrestler Noah Gabriel on his journey in Cincinnati. Braham and Volosky collaborated on the film with both filming and editing in February 2022.  

“The film process was really fast paced with only three days to film with two of those days being practice runs,” Branham said.  

The film was shown to judges and spectators at the 2022 festival in the Gatton Student Center’s Worsham Cinema on April 29. The UKY Film Festival showcases and celebrates the films created by UK students. The films were scored by a variety of local media professionals and campus representatives. 

“It was really exciting to hear people reacting to the film,” Volosky said. “You’re never sure how the audience is going to react to it, but getting to hear them laugh and gasp at parts is really fun.” 

Both Branham and Volosky are majors in Digital Media and Design in the UK College of Fine Arts with certificates in International Film Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences.  

Branham said he knew growing up that he wanted to create films.  

“I was always captivated by the world of filmmaking and looked up to a lot of directors and cinematographers,” Branham said. “Seeing how they captured moments and told stories was inspiring to me.” 

Branham and Volosky said Brandon Look, University research professor in philosophy, and Nels Rogers, associate professor of German studies, were instrumental creating their film. Branham said they offered criticisms and advice to help them create the final product. Volosky said Rogers’ class “German Film Today” was a big inspiration for him.  

“UK film studies and fine arts classes have helped me achieve my goals in film making by giving me the creative freedom and guidance to learn how to create the best I can,” Branham said.  

"It's exciting to see this kind of collaboration between faculty and students emerging from our International Film Studies certificate program," said Molly T. Blasing, director of the undergraduate certificate in International Film Studies. "A&S offers dozens of film courses every year, giving students a range of perspectives on cultures and cinematic traditions from around the world. It's particularly exciting to see our students pair the study of global cinema with their own creative talents to bring us inside the world of this fascinating local wrestling subculture."

The film has also been featured at the Sky Arts, Onscreen and Pinewood Studios festivals and was a nominee for Student World Impact Festival.