MAP students secure a slot in New York film festival

September 6, 2016 — by Julia Miller

SHS students to attend All-American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF) in New York

For the second year in a row, Media Arts Program (MAP) students will participate in the All-American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF) in New York, accompanied by teacher chaperones Suzanne Herzman and Tony Palma. The film festival will take place Oct. 4-10.

Seniors Nathan Ching, Kelsey Kinoshita, Emily Li, Laura Makeever, Suraj Mididaddi, Kate Smails, Isaiah Vivero, Kanika Vora and Ryan Westman, as well as junior Maya Gupta, will travel to New York City to attend the festival, where they will make a short film and present it to AAHSFF.

The 10 students were invited by AAHSFF based on an application they submitted earlier this year.

“The AAHSFF is an awesome opportunity to showcase our MAP skills, network with industry professionals and potentially win money for MAP,” Kinoshita said.

Last year, class of 2016 alumni Marcus Emery and Sydney Torrens individually submitted films to the organization, and assistant principal Kerry Mohnike accompanied the two on their trip to New York. There, Mohnike enjoyed the experience of AAHSFF and what it has to offer for MAP students.

“I thought it was a remarkable opportunity for students interested in media, and particularly those interested in film and documentary creation,” Mohnike said. “It looked like a great opportunity to submit work for recognition and bring it to a larger audience and to also see other people who are in the same life stage pursuing career [or]creative endeavors.”

Unlike Emery and Torrens, this year’s 10 invited students applied and were awarded a slot in the Invitational — an opportunity to construct a script about the festival’s theme, film around New York City and edit a video over the course of three days.

The film festival’s theme this year is cyberbullying. Currently, the MAP students are finishing the script for their video before they leave for New York. The group plans to create a fictional film involving alternate realities to present the sometimes unseen effects of cyberbullying.

Kinoshita is confident they will create an amazing product.

“We have a really great team that knows how to collaborate and work under a time crunch,” Kinoshita said.