Wayne State College

White’s Film 'The Cross' Receives 10 Nominations for 2024 IMPA Awards

Published Friday, April 19th, 2024

Mike White and Shelby Hagerdon
Wayne State film instructor Dr. Michael White (left) and Shelby Hagerdon pose on the red carpet during White’s film premiere of “The Cross” on Sept. 26, 2023.

Dr. Michael White’s film “The Cross” has received 10 nominations for Iowa Motion Picture Association awards. Shelby Hagerdon '21 earned three nominations.

“The Cross,” an original film by Dr. Michael White, has received 10 nominations for Iowa Motion Picture Association (IMPA) awards. The awards gala will be held Saturday, May 4, in Forest City, Iowa.

Shelby Hagerdon, a 2021 graduate of Wayne State College, is nominated in three categories – Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Art Direction.

Inspired by real-life events, “The Cross” is the fourth feature film by White, associate professor of communication arts at Wayne State College. The film recounts how the Ku Klux Klan terrorized the Delore and Vivienne Morrow family in 1922 for being French Canadian Catholics in rural Iowa.

Antiques from several sources adorned the film’s sets, which were staged in various small communities throughout Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The restaurant, constructed at College Center in South Sioux City, was based on actual photos of the Morrow family restaurant. Approximately 100 period-accurate costumes were provided by project partners, with some custom-made.

The film is currently on a theatrical tour in theatres across Iowa. It won Best Screenplay and Best Iowa Filmmaker awards from the Star City Film Festival in 2023, and it has been an official selection in the White Light City Film Festival. It will also be featured in the upcoming Farm to Film Festival April 20 in Washington, Iowa. The film is expected to be available on Amazon Prime Video in June, according to White.

The IMPA nominations for "The Cross" are:

Best Picture – M.G. White and Shelby Hagerdon
Best Direction – M.G. White and Shelby Hagerdon
Best Produced Screenplay – M.G. White
Best Actor – Cédric Févier
Best Actress – Jessica Johnson
Best Supporting Actor – Fletcher Day
Best Supporting Actor – Dave Juehring
Best Supporting Actress – Rachel Williamson
Best Editing – M.G. White
Best Art Direction – Shelby Hagerdon, Elise White, Tatum Payne, and Stefani Beckner