Students Debut Original Films at Annual Festival of New Narrative Films

On Monday, Jan. 28, Marymount’s digital film students debuted their short films that they have been perfecting all semester at the annual Festival of New Narrative Films.
Nine students from the Digital Filmmaking A: Narrative Film course showed their work, which range in genre from comedy heists, horror, and poignant dramas, to stories inspired by true events. Students oversaw every aspect of their film’s production process, from writing and directing, to casting and editing.
Marymount’s Digital Film Program was created seven years ago by Head of School Jacqueline L. Landry, who recognized the lack of female filmmakers in the industry. In an effort ensure that women have increased opportunity to lead seats behind the camera, Ms. Landry introduced Digital Filmmaking to the curriculum during the 2012-13 school year. Since, program participants have continued to top film schools throughout the country.
Senior Jenna S.’s short, Home, tells the story of a young, homeless mother who searches to find shelter for her, her son, and their beloved dog. After calling countless shelters, the mother learns that all have a no animal policy and she must make a decision.
Jenna said her idea came from her time volunteering at a teen-to-teen crisis hotline. Her first call came from a teen mother in a similar situation, and Jenna felt a responsibility to honor her story and struggle.
Junior Taylor T. said the inspiration for her film, Clockwork, stemmed from her life-long fear of running out of time. Clockwork follows two sisters as they try to make sense of their new life without their father.
Other filmmakers spoke of the challenges of film production. Sweatshirt Thief producer Sarah K. ’20 said that actors, notably her brother, who did not know their lines lengthened the set time which required her to re-organize. Junior Taylor L. also noted the unanticipated problem of original cast members dropping out before her films, Real Friends, completion.
For Junior Arianna G., How to be Yourself, in which a young boy creates a YouTube channel only to be disappointed by a lackluster following, was a personal story of exposure and vulnerability. Earlier this year, Arianna created her own YouTube channel, but hesitated sharing it with friends. She said gaining the confidence to overcome the fear of just being herself inspired her to tell a similar story through another person’s viewpoint.
Meanwhile, Reagan W. ’20 acknowledged the fun and hilarity of creating her short feature, The Great Heist. While she doesn’t expect to pursue filmmaking professionally, she noted the digital editing skills she learned in the process are an important asset that will carry into the real world.
Talia R.K. ’20 exposed the hardships that teenagers experience when trying to build new friendships in her film Finding Yourself. And, Malia C. ’20 explored a budding pen pal friendship created through obligation, endured through choice, and lost as a result of distance in 1144.