Las Vegas Sun

March 24, 2019

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Award-winning documentary to be showcased at CSN event

Billy Ward flew to South Africa to film American veterans protecting rhinos from poachers and then edited the 30 hours of video into a 14-minute documentary for a class at the College of Southern Nevada.

His short documentary, "Rhino Shield South Africa," will be among 13 films at CSN’s Short Film Showcase on Friday at its North Las Vegas campus, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave. The event at Horn Theater is free and open to the public starts at 6:30 p.m.

The festival allows film students like Ward, 47, to showcase their work to the public.

Ward’s award-winning documentary explores how a group of post-9/11 veterans in the organization Veterans Empowered to Save African Wildlife help prevent the poaching of rhinos in South Africa.

John Aliano, program director of CSN’s videography and film program, started the event in 2011.

Several of the films featured have won student-production Emmys, including three by "Rhino Shield."

“This year we’re giving over $16,000 in prizes to these students — and that’s cameras, lens, tripods, bags, software — all kinds of things,” Aliano said. “It helps them a lot because this is a community college and a lot of them don’t have a great amount of financial resources. This is really a step up for them in terms of, ‘Wow, I can really do this. I’m being recognized for what I do and here’s something that will help me take that next step when I graduate.’”