D’Amico wins award at Sundance

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY — Mikey D’Amico of Weirton is the youngest person to win the Best Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival’s Creative Mind Group competition for his film “The SunDANCE.” -- Contributed

PARK CITY, Utah — Mikey D’Amico, a Weirton native, Weir High School graduate and Point Park University cinema arts major, received the Creative Mind Group Best Cinematography Award as part of the Sundance Film Festival.

He is the youngest cinematographer to win.

D’Amico was selected from thousands of global entries as one of the eight finalists to participate in The Creative Minds Sundance program. The selection process included the submission of a two-minute film to a panel of industry professionals consisting of independent filmmakers, story-writers, cameramen and other media professionals.

Two other members on D’Amico’s team also brought home awards. Sam Thompson, a current West Virginia University student from New Jersey, won Best Director and Katy Lueck, a New York University graduate, won Best Performance.

Once the team arrived in Utah, they got to work and in less than a week, the team filmed, edited and submitted the film “The SunDANCE,” a coming-of-age story that pits the indie industry against the world of Hollywood. A fourth member of the team, Davis Rohrer of New Jersey, served as the team’s producer, actor and composed all original music for the film.

Established in 2004, Creative Mind’s mission is to find the next generation of talented film and television professionals and usher them into the entertainment industry by providing international film programs at the world’s most prestigious film festivals and markets. The Creative Minds Internship Experience provides individuals with an opportunity to work with film studios, production companies and media outlets, and the Filmmakers/Directors Lab provides students with a platform to showcase their talents via the creation of short films.

D’Amico attended WVU his freshman fall semester and became active in the film club. This is where D’Amico, Thompson and Rohrer began collaborating on many projects including filming “Do It For The Finger” for the 2016 Campus MovieFest competition. D’Amico won the Silver Tripod Award for Editing and the film also won a Jury Award. Campus MovieFest is the world’s largest student film festival.

A screening of their film “The SunDANCE,” made at Sundance, was seen along with other short films created by the trio Feb. 16 at WVU.

Although attending different universities, the three plan to continue collaborating on projects and hope to one day work together on the big screen.

The annual Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States, showcasing new work from American and international independent filmmakers. This year’s festival took place Jan. 19-29.