Hawks pursue filmmaking during time at home

Annie Finholm, Reporter

      Lights. Camera. Action! 

      The film festival, according to sophomore Julia Eakes, was “a celebration of the arts and a recognition ceremony for the very talented student filmmakers at NHHS.” Drama teacher Nancy Green elaborates by stating the festival was a “collaboration between many departments and programs including English, journalism and chorus, science, Misentity, Cry of the Hawk, and drama club.”  

     Sophomore Kris Grady states that the film festival “started when [her] drama teacher Mrs. Green tasked the drama II [classes] with creating short films to present to the class.” From that point forward, Grady says, Green “opened the film festival to anyone in the school,” which is how around 70 films were entered.  

      Grady announces that the festival took place on “April 22 at 7 p.m. on a live teams meet,” and was “aced as a major even for that day since Earth Day at North Harford is typically a large festival with animals, games, etc., but was cancelled due to Covid-19.” 

      Grady claims that the turnout was “quite impressive” with appearances of “students, teachers, and film industry professionals.” Eakes states that there were over “100 attendees on the teams meeting, and more people can view it via the link of the recorded ceremony.   

     Sophomore Stephanie Erisman says that the community was “very supportive” of the event, “considering all the gracious gifts that were used as prizes.” She states that it “seemed like mainly journalism and other students took care of managing it.” 

      Grady states that the community response was “very positive” and that “lots of businesses pitched in when it came to hosting the event and providing prizes.” According to Grady, “Some of these local businesses were Vagabond Sandwich company, local jewelry shops, a local Starbucks, and much more.” 

      The drama teacher adds that some of the other supporters of the event were “Eats and Sweets, Pairings Bistro, Bonkey’s Ice Cream, [the] NRAS program, and even Harford Glen,” among many others. Green states that it was “inspiring” to see the community getting involved.  

      According to Green, “Not one person who [they] called to solicit a prize donation said no” and that all the businesses were “way more generous with the prizes than [they] expected.” She says that this “goes to show what a wonderful support system NHHS has in our local business community.” 

     Grady states that the message for the film festival was to showcase student’s creative abilities and “how important it was to utilize this time at home and make something positive out of it.” Eakes and Green agree that the purpose of this event was to create a safe and fun festival despite the circumstances.  

     According to Eakes, the top prizes included “Abbey Saltzer, who won the prize for the Best Overall Short Film as well as Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and first place in the Art and Fiction category.” The first-place awards for each category went to, “Abbey Saltzer in Art and Fiction, Stephanie Erisman in Music, Lillianna Greco in Documentaries, Cole Hellwig in Nature, Voices of Equity club in PSA, Jessica Fannin in Foreign Language, and Emma Cieri in Animation,” says Eakes.  

     Grady claims that some of the top prizes were a basket of organic honey products, special jewelry packages, and $50 visa gift cards. The prizes were gifted to the winners of each category, which, according to Grady, were “action, comedy, PSA, documentary, foreign language, music [and] live performance, and animation.” 

     In order for a film to win, says Eakes, it must be “very professional in acting and editing quality.” She states that if hard work and determination showed through in the film, there was a high chance of it winning. Grady adds that the film required a “cohesive storyline or idea, [cohesive scenes], and simply [a] show [of] passion.” 

     Erisman believes that this will “become an annual event” due to “how many people that had [entered and] how much fun it ended up being.” Grady agrees with this and imagines the festival would “be even better in person because the films could be shown in the auditorium and be a much bigger event.”