The Uplift-wide Film Festival took place on May 10 at the Angelika Film Theater. Scholars from Uplift Peak, Uplift Luna, Uplift Williams and Uplift Heights competed in the categories of best actor, actress, screenplay, cinematography, editing, audience favorite, and best overall.
Uplift added audio video production to the curriculum 10 years ago at Uplift Peak. As scholars began to invest time and interest into this course, Jay Schaertl at Uplift Peak created an end of year project of short-films that combined all knowledge that was learned throughout the school year.
“We always made a short film from the start but there were large issues of motivation, so I started the Film Festival with the idea of getting their finished work onto the big screen which is a powerful moment for someone and to see and hear the affect their work has on an audience,” said Jay Schaertl, Uplift Peak audio video production teacher.
Advanced audio video production classes competed in a three step competition where the final films competed in a network wide Film Festival. Scholars had the opportunity to be as creative as possible following MPAA regulations and an open theme.
“It’s always been very important to me for this class and the Film Festival to not put restrictions on scholars’ creativity. It takes a full semester where they have the opportunity to express themselves freely,” said Schaertl
Scholars presented films with various themes from romance to dark horror. Each film portrayed a different theme and some with messages directed to issues in everyday life.
“We always tend to gravitate toward violence in these films which leads to a trusting discussions with the scholars about their work. Scholars like to portray the kind of movies they like to go watch, so they want to simulate the movies that they enjoy,” said Schaertl
Films with a deeper meaning stood out in our Film Festival. Scholars focused on topics that brought to light issues that are deeper to portray on the big screen.
“Our group wanted to convey a message in this movie. We were thinking about bullying or domestic violence because they are really big issue in America,” Damian Deloera, Uplift Peak senior.
Scholars began preparation in January with three months of script writing and filming. Films were produced for a whole semester and required time, patience, and attention to detail.
“I edited and wrote the script for my film. It was difficult giving others jobs to do for the film because I want everything my way. It was a learning experience to distribute duties. Along the way I built relationships which I thought was going to be difficult, “said Melina Lopez, Uplift Luna junior.
In the first year Uplift hosted a Network Wide Film Festival, scholars were excited and nervous to watch their film on the big screen.
“I was surprised when we won ’Best Screenplay,’ because I thought our film was very average but when I see everyone watching it and laughing I realized people enjoyed it,” said Iris Oliveria, Uplift Luna senior.
Through film class scholars learned to stay on track with one goal, work hard, overcome obstacles and work together with various strengths and weaknesses.
“Being in film class for two years and watching my films come to life has made me want to be a film major. Next year I will be attending Purdue University where I will be majoring in film,” said Cobey Arenal, Uplift Luna senior.
The Film Festival is an end of year celebration of all their hard work to be shared with peers, teachers, family and friends.
“We didn’t realized how competitive it would be against other schools. Now that we see that we are looking forward to creating our movie next year to bring home the best overall award,” said Adan Reyna, Uplift Luna junior.
Best Actor: Cobey Arenal, Uplift Luna
Best Actress: Melina Lopez, Uplift Luna
Best Screenplay: Walk to Forget, Uplift Luna
Best Cinematography: Follow Me Home, Uplift Peak
Best Editing: 1800HAVEFUN, Uplift Luna
Audience Favorite: SWAT, Uplift Luna
Best Overall: I’m Fine, Uplift Peak