A Brigham Young University history and film student has received a $500 prize and honorable mention for his entry in the national Christophers competition.

      Michael Van Wagenen, 26, of Los Angeles, submitted his 7-minute work, "The Candy Bomber," based on the true story of an American pilot in World War II who dropped candy from his plane to the children below."The candy bomber man did as much for international relations between the United States and Germany as anyone," said David Scheerer, BYU student adviser and assistant theater and film professor.

      According to Scheerer, the award represents a real accomplishment. "Thousands of students enter this contest every year, and for Van Wagenen to have even received honorable mention says a great deal about the quality of his work," Scheerer said.

      The Christophers, a New York-based international media organization, sponsors the contest to encourage the cinematic depiction of positive and uplifting material, Scheerer said.

      Van Wagenen wrote, directed and produced this film and is working on an AIDS-awareness project for the Utah Department of Education. He plans to produce documentary films following his graduation in April.