Film department officials are hosting a high school film festival, offering scholarships and awards of recognition for selected student films.
This is the first year for the festival. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 15.
Bryan Cardinale-Powell, assistant professor and acting film chairman, said he’s excited to see the movies high school students make.
“The films can be fiction shorts, documentaries, experimental, or animation,” Cardinale-Powell said. “The key is to submit movies that have something to say and that say it with style.”
High school students from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas are eligible to enter.
Cardinale-Powell said the School of Visual Arts plans to make this an annual event.
“It’s hard to anticipate how many entries we’ll receive since this is the first year of the festival, but we’re excited to promote the work of young filmmakers. We also hope to show off what OKCU can offer in terms of learning about film,” he said.
There will be a $500 cash prize provided by Nathan Gardocki Films, a local equipment rental house founded by Alumnus Nathan Gardocki, along with $5,000 scholarships for filmmakers who enroll at OCU.
Cardinale-Powell said students will help review entries and set up for the screening.
“Keep an eye out for notices about volunteers needed for the event. And consider letting friends in high school know about the event, they might just be interested in entering,” he said.
Ashley Kinard, film production senior, said she wished she had the opportunity to enter the film festival while she was in high school.
“It could have provided me with a much-needed scholarship and an excuse to really try to make something worthwhile,” Kinard said.
Kinard said she probably would have entered a short narrative film.
“I knew I wanted to study film, but I had never tried to make a real project. I’d mostly just messed around and goofed off with a camera,” she said.
“I think the festival can encourage creativity and also show incoming students that there is value in art, whether that be in the form of scholarship, monetary prizes or even just a sense of accomplishment.”
The screening night coincides with the Plaza District’s Second Friday Art Walk, when local businesses stay open late and feature live music and artists, so attendees can participate in the Art Walk activities as well, Cardinale-Powell said.
Winners will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at The Venue, 1757 N.W. 16th St.
An award ceremony will immediately follow the screening.
For current students who want to get more involved, the department offers weekly film screenings in the screening room in the east wing of Dawson-Loeffler Science and Mathematics Center.
“Film majors curate Tuesday night screenings that start around 8 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Professor Billy Palumbo hosts screenings of experimental films,” Cardinale-Powell said.