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Film students continue to win awards at numerous festivals

The program has earned 18 nominations at the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Paige Anderson, Staff Reporter
Originally published May 19, 2019

Screenshot of senior Sophia Esquinasi as Juliet in “in the Wings.”

The Digital Filmmaking Program is notorious for winning awards at countless festivals, and this year was no different. “In the Wings,” produced by senior Max Beaulieu, junior Marley Rankin and sophomore Emma Lee won Best Short Fiction Film at the Discover the World of Communications Film Festival. Senior Brendan Hickey, junior Talin Phillips, Liv D’Arche, and sophomore Ben Murphy won Film of the Year for their movie “Blood Cargo” at the STARdance Film Festival.

Along with these awards both films were also nominated for multiple Emmys by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Northwest Chapter. The winners will be announced at the Northwest Emmy Awards on June 8.

In the Wings won Best Short Fiction Film at the Discover the World of Communications Film Festival.

Director of photography Marley Rankin thought of the idea and wrote the script. Emma Lee worked on lighting design and Maxwell Beaulieu focused on mixing and sound design.

“I like to work on other people’s films where I get to bring what I have to offer,” Beaulieu said. “I thought Marley’s idea was really interesting and I saw a lot of potential in it.”

Beaulieu is nominated for Best Audio/Sound and the film is nominated for Best Short Form Fiction by NATAS.

Also nominated for Best Audio/Sound is Liv D’Arche, Brendan Hickey & Ben Murphy for their film “Blood Cargo.” The video is also nominated for Best Writer by NATAS.

“Blood Cargo” won Film of the Year at the STARdance Film Festival. The film takes place in the 70s.

The entire process starting with pre production, filming, reshooting, and editing took about three to four months. All of this was accomplished with no funding.

Ben Murphy expressed that despite the disadvantage, the team was able to come together and accomplish a unique, intriguing film.

“It’s a lot of effort and having a film with not a single dollar is really hard,” Murphy said. “But being able to take that and still create something that won an award is really cool.”

When the team was filming, if a car drove by or someone was seen using current technology, the scene would be ruined and have to be reshot since the film isn’t set in current times. This challenge presented many issues along with the fact that it’s not common for a student film to be set in the past.

“We took a lot of risks,” Phillips said. “It was set in the 70s which is really uncommon for a student film”

Senior Brendan Hickey, who thought of the idea, not only wanted to replicate the films he loved growing up, but he also wanted to create something he would personally enjoy to watch.

“All these other years of high school I was kinda like ‘what film will do the best and win the most awards?’” Hickey said. “By the time I got to my senior year, this year, I was like ‘what’s the film that I want to see and what would I really want to watch?’ and to me, that was “Blood Cargo.””

The film followed a different expectation then other student films. The producers wanted to create something that would stand out and didn’t feel like a student film.

“Stories don’t all feel the same and I think what people tend to do is they write something that they’re familiar with, which is great,” Hickey said. “You should write what you know, but a lot of times there’s a similarity within student films, and for “Blood Cargo,” it’s not the same thing.”

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Film students continue to win awards at numerous festivals