SMASH’n awards crown the best of MAP

June 8, 2018 — by Ashley Feng and Sanjana Melkote

The night celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the program

Parents and students strolled up the red carpet, pausing to take photos and congratulate award nominees. Decorative film hung from strings greeted guests as they walked into the McAfee Center last Friday night, searching for seats in the packed theater. The overhead lights dimmed, students scanned programs for their names in the list of nominees and annual SMASH’n ceremony began.

This year’s event included a Media Arts Program 10th anniversary celebration in addition to the annual recognition of students’ best projects.

The night also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the program, and retiring superintendent Bob Mistele served as emcee. Students from each grade were awarded for various outstanding projects, and at the end of the night, four judges with industry experience selected a winning project out of the night’s showcased projects for the Industry Award.

Seniors Angela Lee, Andreah Salazar, Mana Shimokawa, Sahana Sripadanna and Isabelle Yang won the Industry Award for their capstone project, “Charlie.” The story of a young boy’s internal struggle with ADHD captured the audience with its emotional storyline, exceptional cinematography and sophisticated animations.

“It was definitely one of those moments where everything slowed down for me,” Sripadanna said. “When we were waiting in the wings to receive the award, the first presenter said that he had never seen a male actor cry on screen in a student film and that display of vulnerability was so raw and open.”

The group’s accurate and emotional portrayal of trauma was also commended. Small details of their project like audio quality were recognized by the industry professionals.

Other awards from the night included Best 2-dimensional Design from each grade, and Best Mock Interview. The winning 2-D designs ranged traditional paintings to computer generated graphics in various categories including infographics and broadsides.  

Students were rewarded for a year of hard work and the MAP leadership team treated the community to a spectacular event.

The SMASH’n co-chairs, senior Alec Kruka and junior Kitty Huang, and MAP leadership had been preparing for the night since first semester, in an attempt to minimize any last-minute stress.  

“This year it wasn’t that hectic at all because we did a lot of planning,” Kruka said. “Last year we were still cutting out senior wall photos the day before SMASH’n, but this year we had almost everything done leading up to the week before.”

In previous years, MAP leadership has lacked manpower in days leading up to SMASH’n, but this year, “every grade was pouring in people to help,” Kruka said.

MAP student leader senior Cailley Bryan received the Haley Zarrin Leadership award as a recognition of her transformation of MAP leadership into a more involved and hardworking team.

MAP coordinator Suzanne Herzman said that Bryan inspired the leadership team to put in hours toward the event because she is “super organized and has a magic power to lead by example.”

“I like working on something that so many people are invested in. It felt good. It was the most relaxed I’d ever felt the day after the event,” Herzman said.

SMASH’n, a huge feat for the MAP leadership team, was a success.

“I think it was probably the best show I’ve seen my four years here,” Kruka said. “It was very smooth and entertaining.



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