Future stars flourish at Sacred Heart film festival

Members+of+all+branches+of+the+Broadcast+Journalism+Program+take+a+final+bow+at+the+night%27s+conclusion.%0ACourtesy+of+cshct.org

Members of all branches of the Broadcast Journalism Program take a final bow at the night’s conclusion. Courtesy of cshct.org

Not even persistent clouds and rain could block out the shining stars of the fifth annual Convent of the Sacred Heart Film Festival. With a total of 29 films divided among the Social Justice, Creative, and Documentary categories, the event offered stories and characters that appealed to both students, parents, and guests from outside the Sacred Heart community. 

“I am proud of the diversity of work the students created for the festival,” Broadcast Journalism Director and Teacher Ellyn Stewart said. “From animation to public service announcements to documentaries to creative short films, students found their voice and expressed their unique vision through their videos.”

Seniors Margot McCloskey and Jane Mikus were large contributors to the event, serving as Creative Directors of the Filmmaking class as well as co-hosts. Courtesy of cshct.org
Seniors Margot McCloskey and Jane Mikus were large contributors to the event, serving as Creative Directors of the Filmmaking class as well as co-hosts.
Courtesy of cshct.org

After co-hosts senior Margot McCloskey and senior Jane Mikus gave their opening remarks, the festival kicked off with the Social Justice category, judged by Ms. Sadé Clacken Joseph, 2007 alumna and assistant to the producers at ABC’s The View. These pieces were each approximately 30 seconds in length, with topics ranging from the conservation of electricity to the promotion of women’s rights.

The night continued with the Documentary category, judged by Mr. Todd Leatherman, an independent filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Nine pieces were screened, featuring the work of students from both the Broadcast Journalism and Creative Filmmaking branches of the film program at Sacred Heart.

Finally, the festival showcased the creative pieces. Lauren Banta Naylor, Associate Producer for ABC’s The View, and her husband, Rob Naylor, Emmy-nominated producer and editor for The View, judged a diverse range of length, topic, and genre.

Members of all branches of the Broadcast Journalism Program take a final bow at the night's conclusion. Courtesy of cshct.org
Members of all branches of the Broadcast Journalism Program take a final bow at the night’s conclusion.
Courtesy of cshct.org

Besides the movies themselves, the film festival featured a text-to-vote system, which allowed audience members to choose their favorite piece from each category. Other highlights included a video tribute to seniors, a photo station, and food provided by both Sacred Heart’s kitchen staff as well as parents of the film students.

“I definitely think that the Film Festival is getting better each year,” junior and Film Festival coordinator Mary Grace Henry said. “Not only are we learning how to better organize and plan the event itself, but in addition, I think that things such as new cameras and an increased focus on screenplay writing have made our movies more professional as a whole.”

The following is a list of the winners:

Judges’ Awards

Social Justice Category:

  • First Place: Drowning in Plastic by Riley Doyle
  • Second Place: It Starts with a Girl by Gabrielle Giacomo and Mary Grace Henry

Documentary Category:

  • First Place: Empire State of Mind by Maddie Church, Claren Hesburgh, and Jordan Cohen
  •  Second Place: Suzuki: The International Language of Music by Fiona Cahill

Creative Category:

  • First Place: In Time by Gabrielle Giacomo and Mary Grace Henry
  • Second Place: Karmaleon by Georgina Cahill

Audience Choice Awards

Social Justice Category:

  • I am a Girl by Maddie Church and Katie Hill

Documentary Category:

  • Empire State of Mind by Maddie Church, Claren Hesburgh, and Jordan Cohen

Creative Category:

  • Keeping Up with the Konvent by Ana Schonander and Brooke Wilkens

To see all of the students’ films, click here.

– Gabrielle Giacomo, Photo Editor