Community wide film festival provides opportunity to shine

By Christina Burke
Features Editor

Lights, camera, action, it is time for the future filmmakers of Coppell to make their debut.

Since its start in fall 2010, the Emerging Media and Communications (EMAC) Academy lead Irma Kennedy is constantly looking for ways to expand and improve the program.

The 2013 Coppell High School Film Festival is the newest result of the academy’s innovative improvement.

This festival will be an event that is promoted and hosted by EMAC students, but open to the community for both entries and attendance. Anyone local student in grades six through 12 can submit by the deadline of March 18 and the best films will be displayed in the CHS auditorium on April 29.

“Seven years ago, when I first came here, I wanted to do [a film festival],” Kennedy said. “Each year, I am thinking, ‘what can we do to make [EMAC] better’, and this year, I have a short film crew for KCBY, CHS’s broadcast news program, that has really taken off. I thought the time was right to take advantage of those KCBY kids that really have the passion. Last year we did such great things, and I want everybody to see what these kids can do.”

The model of this year’s CHS Film Festival has derived from different ideas and events put on by the academy in the last few years. EMAC has been successful in the past at promoting media showcases and putting on short film festival days during school hours. The challenge of a community wide film event is the next step up.

“I want [the film festival] to showcase the talent that our great CISD kids have, and I want for students to be inspired,” Kennedy said. “Particularly that gem that’s out there that had no idea this was their hidden passion.”

Recreational filmmaking is a common underrated hobby among teens in this generation, and Kennedy is encouraging anyone who shares this passion to give the festival a try, and see what happens from there.

“There are a lot of students here, and in all the middle schools through upper level schools, who I call ‘Weekend YouTubers’,” Kennedy said. “They get together with their friends, they make videos, and who sees them? I want to see who’s out there; I want to see their hidden talent and I want to meet them.”

EMAC students have had the privilege of working on similar tasks before, and the experience has proven beneficial and rewarding.

“I am really excited to see all the work that the students at all the schools have in store,” junior Jack Hobbs said. “It will be really great to watch everyone come together and watch all the films and watch everyone grow with their films.”

As for the promotion of the event, one of the most beneficial aspects of the EMAC Academy is the experience it provides students in professionally organizing and handling community wide events, the film festival being their current project.

“EMAC media representatives have been working really hard to promote the event,” Crosby said. “We created posters to hang around the school for getting the word out to students, and we are sending out a press release to [Coppell PTSO email newsletter] and spreading the word to all the local newspapers.”

The film festival will be a great way to explore hidden passions, for both EMAC students and other entries, and proudly share them with the community. Every video submitted will only make the festival more successful.

“Opportunity is really what we are all looking for,” Kennedy said. “To taste something and decide if it is something you like or not, and if you don’t, that’s OK, you move on to something else and you try something new, but you didn’t lose anything.”