He didn’t exactly rub shoulders with George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, but David Ostergaard ’02 did star in an award-winning film shown at Cannes.

Ostergaard, who graduated with a BFA in theatre, was part of an Asheville-based film crew whose short film, “Joint Effort”, won the 2013 National Film Challenge. Grand prize was a showing at the elite film festival, held each year in the French Riviera.

Ostergaard was in Cannes for the May 20 showing. He also sampled Monaco, Lyon, Paris, Brussels, Belgium and London.

Cannes is as high-toned and selective as one might expect, he says. No one gets into a screening without an invitation from the producer, although the group did get a glimpse of Steve Carrell and Benicio del Toro. “You have to be in a tuxedo all the time, and ready to hobnob.”

“Joint Effort” is a seven-minute comedy by Gorilla with a Mustache Productions shot partly at Ostergaard’s house in Asheville. In it, he plays one of two men whose lives are uprooted when they mistakenly receive what they believe to be a shipment of marijuana.

The film beat out 150 short films from around the world in the Film Challenge. All films must be made within 72 hours and run 5-7 minutes.

Ostergaard, named Best Actor in the Film Challenge, has also won a regional Emmy for his work in a commercial for an Asheville computer store. He has made a thriving career for himself in the North Carolina mountains.

His Bright Star Touring Theatre does 1,000 shows a year in 36 states and has performed in Moscow by special invitation. Bright Star companies travel to schools across the U.S. promoting Black History and anti-bullying messages.

In the near future, Ostergaard hopes to launch an educational TV show for kids.

Meanwhile, he offers up this secret from Cannes: When the stars walk the red carpet on their way in to a screening, providing a photo-op for Paparazzi, they most often stroll quietly right out a back door. They’ve already seen the movie.