Temple Times Online Edition
    OCTOBER 28, 2004
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Grad student wins film award

Film still from My Scarlett Letter courtesy Karen Carpenter

School of Communications and Theater student Karen Carpenter, an M.F.A. candidate in film and media arts, recently took top honors at the prestigious Hamptons International Film Festival, capturing the award for Best Graduate Student Film for her short film My Scarlet Letter. Carpenter was honored for her work with a $1,000 prize and recognized as a “young director of outstanding promise” at the close of the festival on Oct. 24 in Hampton, N.Y.

Written, directed, shot and edited by Carpenter, the 10-minute film features a cast of Temple undergraduate student actors, including Jessica Brettle (pictured in a scene from the film), and a production crew comprising graduate students from the film and media arts department.

Shot in the director’s hometown of New Bloomfield, Pa., and Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, My Scarlet Letter follows four young girls trying to escape their small town on a Friday night. As with many of Carpenter’s works, the film focuses on the inner lives of adolescent girls, revealing their quest for self-expression and a meaningful life.

In addition to My Scarlet Letter, Carpenter has produced four short films for which she received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in filmmaking and screenwriting. She also was a finalist in the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women and has been nominated for Kodak’s Eastman Cinematography Scholarship.

A graduate of the Tyler School of Art, where she received her bachelor of fine arts in painting, Carpenter has exhibited her artwork internationally and earned numerous awards, including a Partners of the Americas travel grant for an exhibition of her paintings in Brazil.

Carpenter is currently completing a feature-length screenplay and teaching screenwriting and film production to Temple undergraduates.

- By Gina Carson