By Sunnove Carlson
Coming up on April 26th is this year’s Midwest Media Education Association (MMEA) Film Festival, offering a platform for the students enrolled in video production classes all across the Midwest Chicago area. MMEA is a program for film study students to go up against other kids in their area in a friendly competition with their creations.
“Our submissions are due next Friday, February 16th, so a lot of my students right now are rushing around trying to finish filming,” said Jennifer Carpenter.
The MMEA is not only a competition, but an opportunity for students that want to go into film study to win an award early on in a potential career. Students and staff alike have expressed excitement for this event and everyone is showing their support for the students submitting videos. If a student has a video in the contest, they will also receive constructive feedback, offering valuable insights through ‘positives’ and ‘improvements’ listed by the judges to help the students grow in their chosen field.
“I am really excited for MMEA,” said Evan Kulczycki, an independent study student. “To be able to learn filmmaking from other students from the area and have our own school’s submissions be committed, it is an honor and a great experience.”
This festival creates a collaborative environment in which students learn to grow together.
Many students are crossing their fingers that all of the immense effort displayed in their videos will bring them to place in these competitions. There are 18 categories of film projects and last year’s competition totaled 439 student entries. This event also opens the door to be nominated for Crystal Pillars, which is run by the same association that awards the Emmys.
Joey Monty’s video earned a nomination for a Crystal Pillar and went on nationally this year. “He won a Crystal Pillar for best editing in the Chicago chapter and then that went on nationally and they picked six videos out of the twenty chapters and his won out of all of the nation,” Carpenter said. “His won best editor. It was really cool.”
Carpenter, when asked what her favorite part of the MMEA Film Festival is, emphasized the joy she receives from seeing her students’ creativity through film. “I love just seeing their videos, even if they don’t get into the contests.” Carpenter showed a tremendous amount of care and support for her students.
In the time approaching the MMEA Film Festival, be sure to cheer on these talented video production students entering the competition. As well as joining us in showing appreciation for the dedication and guidance provided by BHS’s video production teachers, Ms. Carpenter and Mr. Josh Casburn, as they play a pivotal role in preparing these students for not only this competition, but their future in filmmaking.