Though we maintain variety with all other Quarter Projects from year to year, third quarter always remains the same. We challenge students to write, record, and edit a film to enter into our ARCTIC Zone Film Festival Competition. The focus of the film is different each year, but the final product remains the same – a finished film that is judged by a panel of community volunteers. Judges use a specific set of criteria to narrow the entries down to the top 10 films which are aired on the big screen at Micon Cinemas for families and friends, which is followed by a short award ceremony for the top three film groups.
Like everything else it seems, this year’s Film Festival was impacted by the stay-at-home order. Our final day at school was Monday, March 16th, and the Film Festival viewing was slated to be held that week, Thursday, March 19th. It was a bummer. Students questioned when they would get to see each other’s films. We assumed we would reschedule once this whole thing blew over. Then school was canceled. Yikes.
The restrictions under which we find ourselves have forced many to get a little creative with how they proceed with certain activities or events. We knew we had to find a way to host our Film Festival so we could celebrate and congratulate the hard work and dedication our students put into their film projects this year. So last Thursday evening, over 40 families tuned in to a virtual meeting where we were able to view the top 10 films and announce our winners.
I was happy to be able to give the recognition to those students who earned their spots in the festival, but I was even more proud of how many students and families showed up to celebrate together. During these very strange, uncertain times, it was an opportunity for us to come together in a unique way to share in something that matters – student success.
I’m reminded of a Swedish proverb: “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” Let us all find ways to share in joy as we continue to also share the sorrows life is thrusting our way. We stand a better chance together.
If you have 40 minutes to spare, I would strongly recommend you check out our Top 10 Films of 2020. Feel free to offer feedback here or on the YouTube link itself. My students, like all of us, long for acknowledgment, criticisms, and praise. Be well. Share joy.
2020 Film Festival Winners
First Place: Jake’s World Tour (Jack, Oliver, Cameron, Connor)
Second Place: All an Act (Michelle, Cienna, Madison)
Third Place: Addiction (DeShea, Cameron, Isaac)