Fun at the festival

As the school year is coming to an end, many clubs have stopped meetings and activities. However, on June 11, the young directors, scriptwriters, actors/actresses, and cinematographers presented their major film project assignment at the 2010 AHS Film Festival.

At the end of the night, 11 awards were given out by the five faculty member judges, including top Jury Prize to Tomorrow’s Life by juniors Samantha Pokraka, Rackel Jurdi and Sandra Abiloma. The coveted audience choice award went to the documentary Like by juniors Emma Barker, Tyler Britton, Chris Marshall and Lance Miller.

The IB Film students had planned, initiated and worked for months to present their movies at the Film Festival. These films are produced at various settings and were edited by those juniors and seniors who are enrolled in the class.

There was a total of over twenty music videos, mocumentaries, documentaries, mystery, comedy, or drama movies contributed to the festival this year.

As first time directors and editors, many juniors encountered challenges, such as using software programs and cameras.

Junior Arish Ali, the director and Best Cinematography winner for Street of Embers said, “[I had] no editing software available and had trouble exporting the finished product from the computer.”

Many junior students were unfamiliar with the equipments and programs that are used in creating films.

“I couldnt get a hold of the proper sound equipment from Mr. [Alan] Weintraut before one of our shoots so we had a few sound issues that I couldnt quite fix in post production that the judges made us pay for,” said junior Henry Smith, the director and Best Screenplay award winner for Memory.

Ali added, “I feel proud of the award because it was for a project that me and my team put a lot of hours into and believed in.”

Meanwhile, two of the junior class films won top two awards: Tomorrow’s Life by Samantha Pokraka, Rackel Jurdi and Sandra Abilmona won the Jury Prize, and Zombie Eric by Liam McGhee received Jury Prize Runner-Up.

The students were also pressured to make their films as professional as possible. Junior Katie Masters, who worked with fellow junior Caroline Kane on Just Another Day’s Adventure said, “Caroline and I had problems with our first movie because we had envisioned a situation that called for three adult roles, but we could not get three adult actors, and so we tried to rely on high school students.”

For that reason, Masters and Kane had to change the whole plot of their film.

Despite each student’s efforts, the poor audio system quality at the auditorium caused the students to panic and the audience to become puzzled.

Because of inadequate sound system in the auditorium, students’ messages in films were not clearly conveyed to the audience.

“I felt sick to my stomach for the students who had sound problems–it was the fault of the school’s crappy sound system,” said IB Film teacher Alan Weintraut.

Through challenges, students have developed their skills, overcame their obstacles during the making of films, and all participants were able to submit their projects before the festival.

“I’m very proud of all the efforts of the film students. This was the largest line-up we’ve ever had,” said Weintraut.

All films shown at this year’s film festival can be seen on YouTube under AHSstudentfilms.