‘Ruin Me’ Fares Well For Creator

Accolades continue to pour in for Wheeling native Preston DeFrancis for “Ruin Me,” the new feature film that he co-wrote and directed.

Co-writer Trysta Bissett and DeFrancis have been nominated for the best writing prize by the Women In Horror Film Festival, a three-day event to be held in the Atlanta area in late September. They are among seven nominees (either individuals or writing pairs) competing for the award.

Winners in the film festival’s various prize categories will be presented with “Lizzies,” named for that notorious horror figure, ax murderer Lizzie Borden,

“Ruin Me” will be shown at 5 p.m. Sept. 24, the final day of the Women In Horror Film Festival. The event will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center in Peachtree City, Ga.

That same weekend, the American premiere of “Ruin Me” will be offered at the NOLA Horror Film Fest in New Orleans. DeFrancis’ film will be screened there at 10:45 p.m. on Sept. 23.

The horror film will have its world premiere next weekend at the Horror Channel FrightFest London, which is one of the top international film festivals for the horror genre. “Ruin Me” will be screened at 6.30 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday at the Cineword Discovery theater in London’s Leicester Square.

A website called Electric Shadows has named “Ruin Me” as one of “18 must-see movies at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017.” Electric Shadows critic Rob Daniel described DeFrancis’ film as “lean, mean and murderously fun.”

Offering a brief synopis of the film, Daniel stated, “Giggles and gore look to be in store in Preston DeFrancis’ directorial debut. A gang of horror nerds sign up for the Slasher Sleepout, an experiential holiday that is ‘The Blair Witch Project’ meets ‘Fun House.'”

DeFrancis, son of Patricia and Robert DeFrancis of Wheeling, and his crew filmed “Ruin Me” in western Michigan last summer. His longtime friend and fellow Wheeling Park High School alumnus, Aaron Galligan-Stierle, served as casting director and executive producer for the project.

Meanwhile, “Manhunt: Unabomber,” a limited-run drama series on which DeFrancis worked, is receiving positive reviews. The television series airs on the Discovery Channel at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. DeFrancis worked as the script coordinator for the eight-episode series produced by Lionsgate Television.


Wheeling native and educator Dr. Brian Cook has been recognized by a global organization for his innovative work in the field of literacy.

He was named a regional recipient of the Technology and Literacy Award by the International Literacy Association. He is a sixth-grade English language arts teacher at Pocomoke (Md.) Middle School.

Cook, who has been teaching for nearly a decade, said the award resulted from his digital literacy work at the school.

He used the school’s Chromebooks and Google Hangout to enable his students in Worcester County, Md., to communicate with students in Frederick County, Md. Cook had students read a text in their Pocomoke classroom and then discuss it through a digital video chat platform with their peers across the state.


A new recycling system in the Ohio County Public Library’s auditorium is drawing praise from environmental fans.

Used by patrons of Lunch With Books and other programs, the set-up features separate containers for recycling paper bowls, plastic cups and aluminum cans.

Astronomer Robert Strong, who presented an educational program on the solar eclipse at the library Thursday night, commented on the system, “What a fantastic array of recycling options. It’s awesome. It’s what I expect in Wheeling, W.Va., but never see.”

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net


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