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Student Film Debuts at Big Eddy Film Festival

By Edmund Carlton & Kelly Adams

Haywire, a student-created short film screened as part of the Big Eddy Film Festival, was a project born out of necessity. After a year of experiencing a world truncated by the realities and fears of the pandemic, the students at The Homestead School were champing at the bit to express themselves creatively. Haywire afforded our students a variety of mediums for this self-expression. Some students had their voices heard through the creating and writing of the screenplay, others were sparked by the opportunity to engage with the technologies necessary to create/film the project, while others took eagerly to the stage provided by the camera to perform the story.

Haywire showed at Bethel Woods on October 2, 2021 as part of the Rural Shorts program.

“Screenwriting was something I’d never done before, and it was definitely fun. It was a good experience to learn about everyone’s talents as we put together the movie.”

Gabriel Almonte, Homestead student
Haywire Film Poster
– Art by Quyen Mundy, 7th Grade

The rousing success of this project can be attributed to the level of creativity living within our students as well as the magnetic pull of digital media work. “I grew from the experience and learned more about filmmaking, which is something I’ve always been interested in,” said eighth-grader Thomas Caputo. Student director, Alyena Galvin-Bliefernich said, “Even though it was challenging, this experience opened me up to a whole new world.” For Skye McShane, being behind the camera was, “a life-changing experience.”

7th Grade student, Skye McShane, behind the camera.

This new world is one we’re expanding upon on the Homestead Collaborative College High School (CCHS) campus. Haywire represents a starting point in our greater and more diversified mission. As our students graduate to the CCHS campus, a new Digital Media department is available to them. Students will have the mediums of audio and visual production accessible as they navigate the ambitious curriculum at CCHS. Through the creation of documentaries, narrative stories, video art, short films, news clips, live visuals, and podcast-style radio shows, students will be able to present and organize information in stimulating and exciting ways. 

Zarah Cabañas instructs on lighting setup during an Intro to Videography class at the CCHS Digital Media Lab.

Zarah Cabañas, Homestead Digital Media teacher says, “At the end of their years at CCHS, our expectation is that students will be well-versed in presenting themselves, their community, and their world through the ever-changing lens of digital media. We’re teaching students how to expand upon what already exists so they can create work that expresses their authentic voice.” The future holds limitless possibilities for our CCHS community and we expect many more film festival entries in the years to come!

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