In lieu of fall play, drama department’s ‘Connections’ film festival hosts public screenings of student films

January 13, 2021 — by Marisa Kingsley and Oliver Ye

COVID-19 restrictions forced the drama department into uncharted territory this year.

Led by new teacher Bryan Ringsted, students undertook the production of a film festival entitled “Connections.” Starting in September, 30 students wrote, shot, produced, directed, edited and acted in nine short films, each running approximately 10 minutes. 

Although much of the work was done remotely, students were able to do socially distanced filming on-campus in small cohorts under the supervision of Ringsted. The final cuts were finalized in December. 

The Film Festival took place on Jan. 8 and Jan. 9, over Zoom. The films are available for public viewing on the drama department’s website


“Lance Stewart’s Break-In” 

Director: senior Helena Lee

Scriptwriter: sophomore Matthew Ingster 

Cinematographer and editor: sophomore Angela Yanqui Zhao

Starring: freshmen Ashwin Chatterji, Rohan Chopra and junior Taylor Zhou 

Synopsis: Feeling down during quarantine, two friends decide to visit the house of their favorite YouTuber, Lance Stewart. Unfortunately, they are caught by their idol and have to prove themselves if they want to get away scot-free. 


“Grandma Gamer” 

Director: junior Taylor Zhou 

Scriptwriter: senior Stephen Ludwig 

Cinematographer: freshman Arushi Maheshwar 

Editors: Arushi Maheshwar and Taylor Zhou

Starring: freshmen Ariana Tootoonchi, Rohan Chopra, junior Maya Vasudev and senior Eileen Sun 

Synopsis: After losing a computer game to her granddaughter, a spunky grandmother is determined to prove herself by winning a tournament — with the help of a professional gamer.  


“Run Far Run Fast”

Director: freshman Julia Burgos 

Scriptwriter: senior Helena Lee

Cinematographer: freshman Wesley Chen 

Costume designer: freshman Vivienne Brooks 

Starring: sophomore Juliette Hsieh, junior Taylor Zhou, seniors Christopher Linney and Brandolyn Renner 

Synopsis: A track runner down on his luck receives an unexpected boost from a curious wizard. Despite his newfound speed, he soon finds himself at the mercy of its power. 



Director: sophomore Robin Castren 

Scriptwriter: junior Taylor Zhou 

Cinematographer: freshman Caitlin Weber 

Starring: sophomores Juliette Hsieh, Matthew Ingster, junior Taylor Zhou, seniors Francesca Fernandes, Christopher Linney, Stephen Ludwig and Tanvi Singh 

Synopsis: A high schooler gets into a fight at a party after trying to protect his friend from her boyfriend. Two years later, however, nobody involved can seem to let go of what happened that night. 



Director: sophomore Olivia Neal

Scriptwriter: senior Francesca Fernandes

Cinematographer: senior Bryan Chu

Composer: senior Aelfred Moore

Starring: freshmen Ariana Tootoonchi, Angelique Delacroix, Arushi Maheshwar, sophomore Amrita Gopal, junior Taylor Zhou and senior Christopher Linney

Synopsis: Concerned with the devastating effects of alcoholism on their families, a group of women comes together to protest. They lead the charge for prohibition, calling themselves the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.


“I Barely Know” 

Director: sophomore Eli Tsives

Scriptwriter: freshman Julia Burgos

Cinematographer: senior Christopher Linney

Starring: freshmen Angelique Delacroix, Nitin Venkataratnam, Aseel Alagtash and junior Kavya Narayan

Synopsis: A family is torn apart by hidden marital issues, leading to conflict between mother and daughter. When the truth is revealed, the daughter begins to understand the complex burden her mother shoulders and starts the healing process.


“Where’s the Tea?” 

Director: senior Bryan Chu

Scriptwriter: senior Marisa Kingsley

Cinematographer: Bryan Chu

Composer: senior Aelfred Moore 

Costume designer: freshman Vivienne Brooks

Starring: sophomore Eli Tsives, juniors Maya Vasudev and Kavya Narayan

Synopsis: A co-worker accuses a new intern at the office of a grave crime: stealing tea. But when the security recording starts rolling, a very different story is told.


“Every Move You Make” 

Director: senior Elsa Ashraf

Scriptwriter: sophomore Olivia Smith

Cinematographer and editor: Elsa Ashraf

Audio: freshman Nitin Venkataratnam and senior Christopher Linney

Costume designer: freshman Vivienne Brooks

Starring: sophomore Maithili Kulkarni, junior Samantha Weisner, seniors Marisa Kingsley and Francesca Fernandes

Synopsis: When pictures are taken of a group of friends, they think it’s just a prank pulled by their friends. Little did they know that it’s something much more sinister is amiss.


“Owl and Raven”

Director: senior Chloe Hsieh 

Scriptwriter: senior Elsa Ashraf 

Editor and animator: Chloe Hsieh 

Starring: freshman Caitlin Weber, sophomore Olivia Smith and senior Eileen Sun 

Synopsis: Two sisters appear to be completely opposite, and after a petty fight escalates, it appears that they may not make up. Yet, an impromptu henna session reveals some hidden truths and deeper understandings between them.


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