Film festival showcases originial movies

Projects from IB Film classes debuted on the silver screen for the third year through a partnership with Angelika Film Center on May 24 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Film students produced, casted and edited their own films that Angelika screened one after another to an audience of family, friends and cast members. The film festival was open to not only Marshall films, but included a few from other high schools such as Annandale High School and Richard Montgomery High School in Maryland.

“I think we had a good variety of works this year,” IB Film Studies teacher Pierce Bello said. “We had a horror movie, an experimental movie, a documentary movie, a comedy and a commercial. In terms of seeing the variety of what students can do I thought the festival was pretty well represented.”

At the end of the ceremony, Bello announced the winners for best sound design, best acting, best cinematography and best editing, best film and audience choice. The award for best sound design was a tie between “Hush” by Richard Montgomery High School student Jacob Mayl and “Free” by seniors Alana Hassett, Emily Quijano and Sarah Smith, “Sometimes Just One Second” by juniors Anna Hughes, Mary McCants, Emma Ward and Meghan Ward won the award for best acting, “Beauty of Death” by seniors Bella Orobaton, Tatiana Rines, Abby Spira and Maddy Walker won the award for best cinematography and best editing, the best film award was a tie between “Sometimes Just One Second” and “Screwed” by Richard Montgomery High School student Peter Jasperse and “REDemption” by juniors Aiden Kemp and Liam Thomas won the award for audience choice.

“It kind of started off as a joke and came from the idea of wanting to create a social dilemma out of something that isn’t,” Thomas said.

Thomas and Kemp worked on “REDemption” for about two and a half months before the final product was completed.

“One thing that is very hard to do with an ameteur film is to have the audio sound professional, so originally we planned to record all of our scenes with a microphone that we borrowed from Mr. Bello but it wasn’t working very well so we basically had to scrap all of the audio recordings and use voice memos on iPhones,” Kemp said.

“Sometimes Just One Second” was loosely based off of Alice and Wonderland and featured scenes from a range of places, including a graveyard and a bookstore.

“I think it’s hard to do a seven minute short film because you don’t want it to have a slow beginning but you also don’t want to have too much action. From a story point of view it’s hard to find a story that will fit very nicely in the short amount of time,” Emma Ward said. “A minute doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s actually a big deal to cut.”

Senior Bevy Daniel and junior Patrick Brinza were featured actors in “Free,” somewhat of a comedy with a dark twist at the end.

“I focused on the post-production stuff,” Quijano said. “Which means piecing everything together to make it fluid and a good film. I had to be really meticulous with detail.”

Hassett produced a documentary film about Drumline along with writing and directing “Free,” and credits her devotion as a member of the crew as her inspiration.

“I think it’s because I have a strong emotional connection to the activity. I put more effort into it because I care so much about it,” Hassett said.