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Film students nominated for 19 Northwest High School Awards of Excellence

Piper Sloan, Sports Editor
Originally published June 8, 2018


A total of 36 students from the Ballard Digital Filmmaking program were recently nominated for various Northwest High School Awards of Excellence. Nine different films were nominated for a total of 19 nominations spanning eight different categories.

There are a variety of film types and genres in the mix, including documentaries, visual stories, fiction and non-fiction. The themes of films cover everything from unlikely friendships with aliens, as in the film “Richard,” to the science behind and the impacts of the Oso mudslide, seen in the documentary “Oso Strong.”

The nominees, and subsequent winners, of the Northwest High School Awards of Excellence are chosen by professionals from the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) out of submissions from five Northwest states, including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The winners will be announced June 9 at the 55th Annual Northwest Emmy Awards.

This is not the first time student filmmakers have been nominated for prestigious awards such as these. Students have been nominated for the Northwest Emmy Awards 12 years in a row, and just last month students received 13 different honors and awards at the Northwest High School Film Festival spanning six different categories.

Several films, like “Oso Strong,” a documentary focusing on the Oso mudslide of 2014, were nominated in multiple categories. One of the students who worked on this film, Maddie Lausted, expresses her excitement over the nominations.

“It feels really good [to be nominated],” Lausted said. “We put so much into it. It was just so many weekends and so many days after school and so many you know, gotta rush home and get on the phone to interview that person or, you know, take the laptop home and edit all night. It was just a lot of effort went into that film and we care about it a lot.”

“Oso Strong” was produced over the course of a whole year, with a lot of work being done in the summer. Lausted and Freeman Marshall, the two students who produced the film, were nominated in three different categories: best long form non-fiction, best photographer/editor and best writer.

These nominations came from a lot of hard work and late nights on behalf of the students who made the films, but that’s not all. Many films were highlighted for their creative stories and intelligent, well-constructed scripts.

Another film nominated in multiple categories was the film “Richard,” which is a short film surrounding the unlikely formation of a friendship between an alien and a handyman. The film was nominated in five categories: best short form fiction, best animation/graphics/special effects, best audio/sound, best photographer/editor and best writer.

Ian Colbeck, a junior and one of the students who collaborated on “Richard,” speaks to the ambitious nature of the film. “I wanted to pick the most ambitious project because it’s going to be hard, but it’ll be something fun to end on,” Colbeck said.

Other films being nominated include “Bottled Emotions,” “Paul, Dark and Handsome,” “Building Solutions,” “On the Backs of Salmon,” “Stay Sharp,” “City’scape” and “Superman’s Superman”. Many of these films can be viewed on the program’s vimeo page.

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Film students nominated for 19 Northwest High School Awards of Excellence