January 21, 2020
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Visually impaired UMaine-Machias graduate wins film award

Community Author: Alan Kryszak
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Alan Kryszak | Contributed
Alan Kryszak | Contributed
Timothy Allen receives third-place award from Professor Michael Grillo at the first University of Maine Student Film Festival

MACHIAS — University of Maine-Machias graduate Timothy Allen did not let 100 percent visual impairment get in the way of his first film project and of 250 film entries he won third prize for “Journey In Darkness Through Music” with his professor, UMaine-Machias creative arts faculty member Alan Kryszak, on camera and editing duties.


Allen’s exploration on how heavy metal music affects the lives of people with disabilities premiered Dec. 7 at the first UMaine Documentary Film Festival in Orono, where he received the film honor. Allen is a 2017 graduate of UMaine-Machias’ psychology and community studies program and he also has a minor in music.


The 30-minute film “A Journey in Darkness Through Music” was created as Allen’s senior capstone project. In interviews with other students and faculty Allen, who is visually impaired, explores how music impacts the lives of people with disabilities.

Kryszak was Allen’s adviser for the project, operating the camera and following Allen’s audio cues during the editing process. UMaine-Machias Associate Professor of Psychology Lori Schneiders also provided guidance and was interviewed for the film.

For more information about the festival, please visit filmfreeway.com/UMaineDocumentaryFilmFestival.