Future filmakers shine in spotlight of CHS Film Festival

At+the+CHS+Film+Festival+on+Monday+evening%2C+the+members+of+Wicked+Cricket+Studios+pose+on+the+red+carpet%2C+which+they+walked+to+answer+questions+about+their+film+%22The+Mammoth+Affray%22+which+premiered+at+the+festival.+Photo+by+Regan+Sullivan.

At the CHS Film Festival on Monday evening, the members of Wicked Cricket Studios pose on the red carpet, which they walked to answer questions about their film "The Mammoth Affray" which premiered at the festival. Photo by Regan Sullivan.

By Tuulia Koponen

Staff Writer

Photographers and reporters prepare for filmmakers and sponsors to walk the red carpet at the CHS Film Festival on Monday evening. Photo by Regan Sullivan.
Photographers and reporters prepare for filmmakers and sponsors to walk the red carpet at the CHS Film Festival on Monday evening. Photo by Regan Sullivan.

Journalists flooded the red carpet, eager to speak about the finalists’ films with cameras flashing, videos being recorded and interviews being conducted. This did not occur in Hollywood but at Monday’s inaugural Coppell High School Film Festival.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. the stars of the finalist films and distinguished guests lined the red carpet to speak with student journalists and have their pictures taken for a few minutes of fame.EMAC Academy coordinator and KCBY advisor Irma Kennedy came up with the idea last summer after the tremendous response she got for the Short Film Festival Showcase hosted by EMAC last year.

“I saw the response from the parents that came to watch what the kids did, but it wasn’t really open to the parents because we were in the room that is now the Blended Learning Lab,” Kennedy said. “We had a great time and it was the perfect size and everything [for the kids and I], but the parents were standing at the back of the room and when I saw what they produced I said ‘No, this should be open [to the public] and really showcase the kids’ work.”

With the EMAC Academy encompassing students who’s passion ranges from learning about public relations to broadcast news to print news to film, Kennedy wanted to mix it up and include people who both are in the EMAC Academy and those that aren’t, but have a passion for film.

“I wanted to be able to create something that would be an opportunity for all of us,” Kennedy said. “And having a film festival wasn’t just catering to the students in film, it was an opportunity to report about this, organize committees so everyone knows how to prepare an event, and many other great opportunities.”

Film lovers and supporters alike gather in the auditorium at the CHS Film Festival on Monday evening. Photo by Regan Sullivan.
Film lovers and supporters alike gather in the auditorium at the CHS Film Festival on Monday evening. Photo by Regan Sullivan.

In the Middle School Division Perfect took home third place with The Catch of the Day taking home second and Box Boy taking home first with Beanie taking home the win in the High School Division.

The evening began with a welcome from the Masters of Ceremony and KCBY directors Joe Han and Mason Adams followed by the recognition of the middle school finalists and the announcing of the winners in the division.

After a 15-minute intermission, the high school films were recognized followed by the premiere of Mammoth Affray, a feature film about a kid overcoming his fear of diving off the diving board at his community pool with the help of his best friend.

At the CHS Film Festival on Monday evening, the members of Wicked Cricket Studios pose on the red carpet, which they walked to answer questions about their film "The Mammoth Affray" which premiered at the festival. Photo by Regan Sullivan.
At the CHS Film Festival on Monday evening, the members of Wicked Cricket Studios pose on the red carpet, which they walked to answer questions about their film “The Mammoth Affray” which premiered at the festival. Photo by Regan Sullivan.

“Cinematography is really big for me and all of the [Perfect, The Catch of the Day and Box Boy] shots were very creative and stuck out,” DFW filmmaker and owner of Chazown Films Michael Spangler said, who served as one of the judges. “It’s the first thing I judge.”

Spangler also commented how the second thing he looks for is the story and is a big fan of really good ones.

Perfect, for example, they really conveyed what girls go through in middle school and high school and how girls judge themselves so hard,” Spangler said. “That story really stuck out to me.”

“I truly believe that everybody has to have a child at heart and that movie really conveyed that,” Spangler said. “He really hit that with that man going back to where he was as a child.”

For senior Eric Park, who worked on Mammoth Affray, spending a lot of time with his friends working towards creating a film was the best part of the overall filmmaking experience.

“I guess the one thing I really enjoyed about this film particularly or other films in general are that I get to make these films with my friends,” Park said. “I think spending time with my friends and having fun is the best thing that could happen to me.”

Aside from forming stronger bonds of friendship, Coppell Middle School West eighth grader Carlos Ramos, who worked on the film Catch, comments the overall experience helped him learn to manage his time better.

“We were really short on time when producing the film and that was really stressful,” Ramos said. “So, just trying to finish it was hard, but through it, I learned how to manage my time better.”

Other Awards:

  • Best Directing-Beanie
  • Best Editing-Waited
  • Best Screenplay-Recoil
  • Best Cinematography-Bathroom Heist

Honorable Mentions:

  • Comedy-Scooter Cops
  • Promotion-EMAC Video
  • Commercial-The Perfect Athlete
  • Best Script-Catch
  • Best Cinematography-Childhood Memories

Finalist Films:

Middle School Division

  • From Coppell Middle School North
    • EMAC Video
    • Childhood Memories
    • The Catch of the Day
    • Scooter Cops
    • The Perfect Athlete
  • From Coppell Middle School West:
    • Catch
    • Box Boy
    • Perfect
  • From Coppell Middle School East:
    • The White Lightning

High School Division

  • From Coppell High School:
    • Bathroom Heist
    • Mammoth Affray
    • Recoil
    • Waited
  • From New Tech High at Coppell:
    • Beanie
  • From Frisco Wakeland:
    • Kicks