Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee Student Film Festival for Career Pathway Film Students Hosted by COED/CCSD

May 8, 2019

The Cherokee County School District’s CTAE (Career Technology and Agricultural Education) Audio/Video Technology and Film (AVTF) educators, in collaboration with the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED), hosted the first annual Cherokee Student Film Festival on Sunday, April 28, in the Cherokee High School Auditorium.

The Cherokee Student Film Festival was the second original event created by the collaborative for CCSD’s AVTF students this year.  The Cherokee Student Film Summit, held in January, featured local film professionals sharing expertise and skills across a variety of disciplines within the film production industry.  “The hope was that our students, fresh from the film summit, would be eager to apply what they learned.  We created the film festival to give students a platform for creating and screening original short films,” said Molly Mercer, Film Project Manager from COED.

The festival kicked off just one week after the inaugural film summit.  With strict parameters set to simulate production requirements, 18 student teams representing all six CCSD high schools met criteria for screening.  Films were judged by the University of North Georgia Gainesville Film Production Department and were acknowledged for excellence in cinematography and sound quality, clever inclusion of a required prop and scripted line, and culminated with the overall top scorer being awarded “Best of Show”. During the event, the audience also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite entries.

AVTF instructors Aaron Childers (Cherokee High School), Ashley Pruitt (Creekview High School), Linda Yunker (Etowah High School), Lin Woods (River Ridge High School), John Cribb (Sequoyah High School) and Jeff Wagner (Woodstock High School) collaborated with COED’s Film Project Manager Molly Mercer to design a contest that would develop creative and technical skills needed for Georgia’s booming film production industry.  “This has been a wonderful opportunity for our CTAE film and media teachers to collaborate with COED on a project that gives our students experience and exposure within this thriving industry,” said CTAE Curriculum Coordinator Steve Payne.

“COED has partnered to develop a variety of initiatives designed to engage our CCSD high school students and develop our workforce,” said Molly Mercer, COED Film Project Manager.  “These instructors have met throughout the school year to create meaningful opportunities and experiences.  Their investment of time and creativity has yielded entries from 18 student teams who have qualified to have their work publicly screened.  We are so proud of these students for taking the initiative to create original work outside of the classroom, and we can’t wait to see what they make next.”

COMPLETE LIST OF 2019 CHEROKEE STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS

Best of Show:
“The Cleaners” (Etowah High School)
Produced by John Bahamonde, Gann Billings, Jud Moss & Collin Wagner

Runner up Best of Show: 
“Blind Luck” (River Ridge High School)
Produced by Jose Bonilla, Jonathan Lawson, Nicolas Ruiz & Jackson Rush

Third Place *Tie* for Best of Show: 
“Hope” (Etowah High School)
Produced by Jennifer Hernandez, Caitlin Radke & Faith Williamson

“Matt & Molly’s Bucket List” (Woodstock High School)
Produced by Cameron Arterbury & Dani Salame

Audience Choice Awards
Qualifying Entry: “Blind Luck” (River Ridge High School)
Produced by Jose Bonilla, Jonathan Lawson, Nicolas Ruiz & Jackson Rush

Festival Entry: “Strung Up” (Creekview High School)
Produced by Jadon Deaton & Brighton St. Vrain

Best Cinematography
“Blind Luck” (River Ridge High School)
Produced by Jose Bonilla, Jonathan Lawson, Nicolas Ruiz & Jackson Rush

Best Sound Quality
“The Cleaners” (Etowah High School)
Produced by John Bahamonde, Gann Billings, Jud Moss & Collin Wagner

Best Use of Line
“The Brocean” (Etowah High School)
Produced by Connor Fisher & Max Woolford

Best Use of Prop *Tie*
“Nostalgiaman vs Aliens” (Cherokee High School)
Produced by Blake Beckman & Sean McGee

“Hope” (Etowah High School)
Produced by Jennifer Hernandez, Caitlin Radke & Faith Williamson