Film Project Earns International Award for College Artist-in-Residence
Campus News

Franklin College artist-in-residence and Pigasus Pictures co-owner Gordon Strain was part of an award-winning collaboration that received global attention at the 70th annual San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain, September 16 -24, 2022.

 Strain’s collaborative film project, Runner, earned the Special Jury Prize, the second largest award at the festival.

“I’m so thrilled to have been a part of this film,” Strain said.

Strain had not anticipated staying abroad for the weeklong film festival’s full lineup, but that changed when he learned of the Special Jury Prize.

“We found out, and we all had to scramble to make it work because no one had planned to stay for the awards (presentation). We didn’t think we were winning so it was very exciting news!” Strain said.

Runner was written and directed by Marian Mathius. The film follows a young woman as she deals with the unexpected death of her father, and what lies ahead of her now that he’s gone.

“It’s a visual poem,” Strain said. “It doesn’t have a lot of dialogue. It’s a lot of sweeping landscapes.”

Strain’s Pigasus Pictures is a Bloomington-based film company devoted to encouraging filmmaking in the Hoosier state. Pigasus Pictures previously released The Good Catholic, Ms. White Light, The Miseducation of Bindu and So Cold the River. Each film provided opportunities for interns from Franklin College. Strain has taught at the college since 2006.

Franklin College senior Spencer Downhour, of Franklin, interned with Strain during the production of Runner in 2020 and was involved in scouting locations, setting up scenes and completing odd jobs. Downhour traveled with Strain and Pigasus Pictures CEO Zachary Spicer to the Toronto International Film Festival, thanks to a generous donor who covered his expenses. Runner was shown in Toronto this summer prior to the film festival in Spain.

Strain grew up in Indianapolis. He received his undergraduate degree in theatrical production arts from Ithaca College in New York and his Master of Fine Arts in scenic design from Indiana University. He has worked as a designer across the country. He serves as professor of fine arts at Franklin College. He also does freelance design for the Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre and Indianapolis Shakespeare Co., among others. Strain has completed several large-scale public art projects through his company, Franklin Department of Public Art, LLC. He resides in Franklin with his wife and two daughters.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED Oct 20, 2022