Pin on Pinterest
Members of the team that made "Boy Boy" are interviewed by KCBY and other press on the red carpet before the opening of the EMAC Academy's inaugural film festival in the Coppell High School Auditorium. Photo by Jena Seidemann.

By Jena Seidemann, BubbleLife intern 

In its inaugural film festival, Coppell’s Emerging Media and Communications Academy showcased some of Coppell’s promising future filmmakers’ work. Attendees gathered in the high school auditorium after all of the filmmakers strutted down the red carpet.

Two short films had former Coppell High School alumni Ashton Kennedy and Christopher Oroza encouraging and congratulating the contestants and also introducing the high school and middle school categories. Kennedy and Oroza now help with the film industry in Calif.

Two categories were represented in the festival: middle school and high school. The festivals recognized honorable mention, third, second and first place. The winners received a $100 gift card. Cinematographer Michael Spangler and his wife Deanza judged all of the submitted films.

“It was ridiculous,” Michael Sprangler said. “I was expecting to get 15 films overall, but instead, we had around 50 total.”

Sprangler and his wife watched and re-watched all of the submitted films. They specifically looked for stories with depth, writing, shot techniques, the quality of the script and the completeness of the whole film.

In order to gain participants, the EMAC Academy recruited the middle school media programs for films. Box Boy, a film by Coppell Middle School West seventh graders Evan Bailey, Rohin Balkundi, Maurya Alturia and Pranav Venkateswaran won first place in the middle school division.

“I want to be a filmmaker in the future,” Balkundi said. “My inspiration comes from YouTube short filmmakers like Freddie W.”

In their multimedia class, the seventh graders are required to learn editing skills with Premiere Pro. This way, they can produce their own films.

“Premiere Pro is a valuable skill to have and it will help in the future,” Box Boy Editor Evan Bailey said.

The thought-provoking film featured a boy that was rejected by his peers and befriended a box. When the bullies came back and destroyed his box friend, another schoolmate came over, gave the box boy a hand and they walked away together in the last shot.

The other films featured other deep topics such as a young girl accepting herself in Perfect by CMSW middle schoolers Sophia Shams, Manasa Muppirala and Jacqueline Durand. They also hit the humorous side of filmmaking in Max Pius’s The Catch of the Day.

In the high school category, Bathroom Heist won second after Beanie. Following the recognition of the high school division, The Mammoth Affray was showcased. The short film required the KCBY students to plan the script, reserve the locations for shooting, round up their own actors, film and edit all over the summer.

The inaugural film festival took months of planning, but the hard work paid off as the auditorium held roughly 300 people during the event.