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The City Journals

Canyons Film Festival red carpet rolls out at Jordan Commons

Jul 25, 2019 10:28AM ● By Julie Slama

Shown to the audience at Canyons District’s 10th annual film festival, Principal Shad DeMill makes a guest appearance on the elementary winning newscast of “Quail Hollow Morning Announcements.” (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

With 10 years of memorable student films, this year’s students didn’t disappoint the reputation of those who proceeded them. 

“We had some real fun films this year, ones that made us laugh or films we really learned from,” said Katie Blunt, Canyons School District education technology specialist and project lead of the Canyons District Film Festival.

As the Canyons District Film Festival welcomed this year’s winners to the stage at Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons, all student filmmakers walked the red carpet.

This year, several teams were awarded top honors of the Gold Film Canister Award.

Corner Canyon students Dylan Simons, Collin Hall, Julia Tolk, Connor Henrie and Abigail Williams teamed up to make a three-part film for Draper City, which is planned to be posted on the city’s Facebook page. It took months of planning and preparation and narrowing down pages of questions before they started shooting the film.

The students, some of them whom have taken video production and television broadcast courses at school, interviewed a former criminal, presenting his story as he fell into a world of crime and tips he provides on how to safeguard homes. 

Then, they entered one segment in the film festival after spending more than two hours interviewing and even more time editing their footage, taken with three angles, into a five-minute documentary titled “V.O.C. Talk.”

“He told us he would draw away from his friends and family into a world of drugs,” Simons said. “He would tell them to get lost, his grades slipped, and he’d sneak out of his house. He wasn’t a violent criminal, but he did break into houses and did drugs and went to prison for his 30 years.”

While there wasn’t footage of the former criminal breaking into homes or smoking, the students staged many of the scenes, learning how different camera angles and more footage helped to tell the story. They also talked with others and visited where he was incarcerated to get footage and interviews.

“He shared with us about his recovery from crime, the person he is becoming, how he is turning his life around,” Hall said.

That film won the High School Documentary Award this year. 

The middle school documentary was won by a team of Midvale Middle School students. Eighth-graders and former film festival winners Amber Parker and Abigail Slama-Catron teamed up with classmate Natalie McRoberts and produced their film, “Berlin 1936 Olympics: Defying the Nazi Regime.” 

The group also submitted it for the History Day Fair competition, which Blunt supports in the crossover learning with classroom curriculum.

“Several students applied what they’ve studied in class to film projects, which reinforces their learning,” Blunt said. “Not only are they learning the subject matter, but also the art of filmmaking, editing, communicating and teamwork.”

The elementary documentary winners went to Sabrina and Lillian Smith, of Sunrise Elementary, for their film, “Fun Pancakes.”

The short film winners also were team projects. Corner Canyon’s Asly Camacho and Juan Romero won with “What is That”; Union Middle’s Rachel Payne, Angie Class, Chloe Dames, Ashtyn McVey, Eric Middlemas, Sam Gettings, Wesley Arbon, Lorenzo Silva, Josie West, Raphael Ferreira, Ty Fields and Cameron Alldredge took first with “The Classroom—Episode 2”; and Oak Hollow’s Maya Yrungaray and Amelia Butterfield won with “The Girl Next Door.”

The teacher film winner, Bell View Elementary, had a collaboration between teachers and students with “Infinity School: Rise.” The winners were Rachel Bingham, Rebekah Aimes, Chanci Loren, Jennifer Bagley, Mindy Smith, Eryn White, Kristi Johnson, Danielle Rigby, Danielle Rodregiuez, Amber Rock, Kathy Booth, Kida Wright, Sarah Curtis, Katie Hennessey, Marie Berg, Christina Van Dam, Becky Morgan, Ashton Luneke, Ashely Templeton, Jessica Mitchell, Sarah Matheson and Jean Garcia.

This year’s public service announcement was “You Make Mistakes When You're Distracted,” by the team of Tyler Bevan, Chantelle Bevan, Caron Bevan, of Corner Canyon High; “Be Smart, Don't Start!,” the Kick-Ash film middle school winner, by Draper Park’s Ryan White; and “Screen Time Tips” by Park Lane Elementary’s Madi Prestwich and Kate Prestwich.

The high school newscast winner was Brighton’s Zoe Berg with “Bengal News (Office Parody)” and the elementary newscast winner went to the Quail Hollow team of Annie Allred, Emmeline Rosevear, Brooklyn Manwaring and Kate Johns, with “Quail Hollow Morning Announcements.”

The Utah Futures American Graduate Elementary Award went to the team of Porter Liddiard and June Joseph, of Park Lane Elementary, for their film, “Attendance Matters.” The middle school winner was Aubrey Broderick, of Canyons Youth Academy, for “Path to Graduation,” and the high school winner was Emily Erickson, of Alta, for “Risks Worth Taking.” The Utah Futures American Graduate teacher award winner is Canyons Youth Academy’s Wade Harman with “Letter to My High School Self.”

This year’s animation winners were “Sammy the Sloth Gets Ready for School” by Corner Canyon High’s Justie Martinez; “Derf - Saxophones” by Butler Middle’s Cameron Tillman; and “Everyday Hero” by Brookwood Elementary’s Liam Morgan.

And the annual poster contest winner is from Mt. Jordan Middle. Meryn Lee’s poster, “Cameras in the Canyons” will be posted around the schools this coming academic year to announce the entries for the 11th annual film festival, which are due by April 10, 2020. The film festival will air at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, on UEN-TV.


10th Annual Canyons District Film Festival Winners
The winners are...

​High School PSA Winner
"
You Make Mistakes When You're Distracted" - Tyler Bevan, Chantelle Bevan, Carson Bevan - Corner Canyon High

Middle School PSA Winner
"
Be Smart, Don't Start!" - Ryan White - Draper Park Middle

Elementary PSA Winners​
"
Screen Time Tips" - Madi Prestwich, Kate Prestwich - Park Lane Elementary

High School Animation Winner
"
Sammy the Sloth Gets Ready for School" - Justie Martinez - Corner Canyon High

Middle School Animation Winner
"
Derf - Saxophones" - Cameron Tillman - Butler Middle

Elementary Animation Winner
"
Everyday Hero" - Liam Morgan - Brookwood Elementary

High School Newscast Winner
"
Bengal News (Office Parody)" - Zoe Berg - Brighton High​

Elementary Newscast Winner
"
Quail Hollow Morning Announcements" - Annie Allred, Emmeline Rosevear, Brooklyn Manwaring, Kate Johns - Quail Hollow Elementary

High School Documentary Winner
"
V.O.C. Talk" - Dylan Simons, Collin Hall, Connor Henrie, Julia Tolk, Abigail Williams - Corner Canyon High

Middle School Documentary Winner
"
Berlin 1936 Olympics: Defying the Nazi Regime" - Abigail Slama-Catron, Amber Parker, Natalie McRoberts - Midvale Middle

Elementary Documentary Winner
"
Fun Pancakes" - Sabrina Smith, Lillian Smith - Sunrise Elementary​

High School Short Film Winner
"
What is That'' - Asly Camacho, Juan Romero, Andrew Diaz - Corner Canyon High

Middle School Short Film Winner
"
The Classroom - Episode 2" - Rachel Payne, Angie Class, Chloe Dames, Ashtyn McVey, Eric Middlemas, Sam Gettings, Wesley Arbon, Lorenzo Silva, Josie West, Raphael Ferreira, Ty Fields, Cameron Alldredge - Union Middle

Elementary Short Film Winner
"
The Girl Next Door" - Maya Yrungaray, Amelia Butterfield - Oak Hollow Elementary

Teacher Film Winner
"
Infinity School: Rise" - Rachel Bingham, Rebekah Aimes, Chanci Loren, Jennifer Bagley, Mindy Smith, Eryn White, Kristi Johnson, Danielle Rigby, Danielle Rodregiuez, Amber Rock, Kathy Booth, Kida Wright, Sarah Curtis, Katie Hennessey, Marie Berg, Christina Van Dam, Becky Morgan, Ashton Luneke, Ashely Templeton, Jessica Mitchell, Sarah Matheson, Jean Garcia - Bell View Elementary

Utah Futures American Graduate Elementary Award

"Attendance Matters" - Porter Liddiard, June Joseph - Park Lane Elementary

Utah Futures American Graduate Middle School Award
"
Path to Graduation" - Aubrey Broderick - Canyons Youth Academy

Utah Futures American Graduate High School Award
"
Risks Worth Taking" - Emily Erickson - Alta High

Utah Futures American Graduate Teacher Award
​"
Letter to my High School Self" - Wade Harman - Canyons Youth Academy

Poster Contest Winner
"Cameras in the Canyons" - Meryn Lee - Mt. Jordan Middle