Dan Koehler ’12 film wins prize at Starz Denver Film Festival

Dan Koehler's film, "Tobacco King," was awarded a special jury prize in the International Short category at the 2012 Starz Denver Film Festival.

Dan Koehler at work on a future project.

“The Tobacco King” was filmed and produced as part of Koehler’s Lumen Prize work.

The film shares the story of George Botha, a white farmer in Zambia who relocated to the African nation after he lost his land in neighboring Zimbabwe. Koehler explores the racial complexities at play between Botha and his 200-strong black workforce.

While at Elon, the media arts and entertainment major spent seven months in Zambia interviewing Botha, his workers and local experts. His film was completed through support of the Lumen Prize, which provides selected students with a $15,000 scholarship to support and celebrate their academic and creative achievements.

Since graduating in May 2012, Koehler has been working in New York with Marshall Curry, a two-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker. He is also working on an independent project that documents North Carolina photographer Curtis Brown’s campaign against Amendment One.

The Denver Film Society works to promote cinema as both an art form and a civic forum, developing a program that includes year-round screenings, community outreach projects and renowned special events.

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