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Local student among finalists for national filmmaking award

Artist Jeredt Runions works on a mural in Superior East End in this photo from 2012. Runions is the focus of a documentary by University of Wisconsin-Superior student Jessica Prihoda that is up for an award in a film festival in Bemidji. (Jed Carlson/

University of Wisconsin-Superior senior, Jessica Prihoda, was one of twelve student filmmakers from across the United States nominated for a top award at the Headwaters Film Festival in Bemidji, Minn.

The Foxboro native submitted “Painting the Community: A Portrait of Jeredt Runions” for consideration at Bemidji State University’s Student FilmFest, which awarded a $500 top prize to the winner.

The films covered a broad variety of genres, including documentary, narrative, silent musicals and experimental animation. In addition to being screened at the film festival in April the student film submissions were also broadcast on BSU’s student-run television station, KBSU-TV.

Prihoda is a graduate of Superior High School and graduated in May from UWS with a Bachelor of Arts degree in media communication.

The Student FilmFest submissions had to be completed no earlier than March 2013. In addition to the $500 grand prize, there was a $250 second prize and two $125 awards for third prize and people’s choice. There was also a Jury’s Special Award. She was also one of the featured student presenters that took part in a question and answer session at the showcase.

Prihoda’s film is a documentary about a UWS involved in the local arts community. He has several wall murals around town and donates his artwork to benefits and organizations. During the documentary, he talks about his painting, and why he donates his work. Part of his process is using wood instead of canvas. He gets scrap wood from companies, lumber mills and other donations and paints on top of it. Runions also waters down his paint so he doesn’t have to use as much of it, extending the life of the paint.

The film can be seen at