Kalypso Anderson Melekos working

World Language Film Festival

This article is written by Journalism student Elsie Koger

 

U-32’s world language classes are all currently working on creating movies for U-32’s language film festival. The festival will feature student-made movies created by the high school’s Spanish and French classes. The plots are written, filmed, and turned into films all by the students.

Students are enjoying undertaking this new and different project. “I think the film festival is a fun idea for all the classes to participate in and it gives students new motivations for class time,” said Kalypso Anderson Melekos, a freshman Spanish student at U-32. 

Kalypso Anderson Melekos working

 

They considered doing this film festival last year but it was too late in the year to carry it out. “I am ready to finally get kids a little more excited about what they are doing,” said Sarah Volinksy, a U-32 Spanish teacher.

When making the films some students rely on library materials such as iPads and the green screen to help film their movies. “The library has been such a major support and help with both Jill and Meg. They have done great presentations and explained to the kids the technology that the library has, making sure that they have every opportunity to use that technology,” said Phil Montenegro, a U-32 Spanish teacher.

The film festival is new to U-32 this year. It was introduced by Phil who suggested it to Adam French, the Spanish head of department. They discussed it as a whole group and decided to try to make it happen this year. 

This project allows students to use their creativity to come up with an idea for a movie and then bring their ideas to life. Many different and creative movies are coming out of this project.  A group of students in French 1 are making Scream 7 and in Spanish 2 a group of students is doing a remake of Dora. Groups of students are putting spins on different reality TV shows.

Phil got this project idea from a prior school that he worked at called Kimball Union Academy. The project was already there when he arrived and started teaching.

Kimball Union Academy/kua.org

 

“It was cool to see something that every class in the department could be involved in. It wasn’t just Spanish, French, and in this case (Kimball Union Academy) Latin. It’s like everybody was involved in this,” said Phil. 

He wanted to provide more projects that students could have fun with and that were good ways to use the language they were learning. “The idea was really interesting and it seemed like all the students in different language classes had a lot of fun with it and they used their language skills in a way that was exceptional,” said Phil.

He thought it was something that U-32 could use this year in the language department. “We needed something fun, that was still language involved. That got these kids motivated and something that the whole department could take part in,” said Phil.

The students must submit their movies at the end of May. Once the films have been submitted the teachers will watch the student-made films. 

After they have watched the movies, each teacher will nominate the films that they think are the best for each award. There are different awards such as Best Language, Best Overall Film, Best Accent, etc. 

After the films have been nominated for each category they will have a department meeting and there they will view them all together as a group. Then they will narrow it down even further and decide which ones are the best of each category. After the films have been narrowed down it will be up to the student body. 

They will have a red carpet event where the language classes will get to watch each other films. “That’s the kind of thing that I think will make students feel very proud of their work,” said Phil.

After the students have viewed the films they will be able to vote and fill out a survey. All students can vote not just the ones who are in language classes, that way everyone can see the movies and get involved.

They hope to do this project again next year if everything goes well. But so far students have practiced shooting scenes and writing scripts. “I feel when we see the result like what kids produce, we’ll have a better sense of if they need more support or time,” said Sarah regarding next year.

“I have seen a lot of cool scripts that the kids are working on right now. They seem funny and exciting. They’re using some great language so I can’t wait to see how they actually film it and put it together,” said Phil.  “It’ll feel special to the students when they actually see that their films have been chosen for an award.”

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