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Eastern hosts film festival for high schoolers

Published on February 16, 2024

Eastern hosts film festival for high schoolers

Film fest posterFourteen aspiring filmmakers from high schools around the state participated in the recent first-ever high school film festival organized by the Department of Communication, Film and Theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University. The genres ranged from thought-provoking documentaries and public service announcements to creative experimental flicks, fiction films and music videos. 

The film fest took place in the Student Theatre, which was decorated to reflect a professional movie debut complete with a red carpet and ornate decorations. The event was hosted by Eastern students Camila Nobre, Celeste Petrowsky, Cole Manasia and Melody Lacombe.

According to Lacombe, the film fest started as an impulsive idea during the fall ‘23 semester and eventually was realized under the guidance of Professor Brian Day. In addition to Day, event coordinators include Professor Kristen Morgan, Samara Irizarry and Ray de Costa. 

“As soon as we knew what we wanted to do, I got a group together to create a list of all the high schools in Connecticut. This was the more tedious part of the process,” said Lacombe. “We then asked principals and film teachers to tell their students about this event and encourage them to submit their films.” 

As submissions rolled in, alumni of the Communication, Film and Theatre Department were recruited as judges. The panel included Meg Campbell, Virgos Bellemare, Seth Richards, Drew Ellison and Eve Woods. 

Lacombe added that the event’s purpose was to give high schoolers around the state an opportunity to conceptualize their passions and express themselves through filmmaking while also helping them whittle down college choices.  

“I remember being in their position, trying to find a college that was right for me," said Lacombe. "If I had been asked to participate in this film festival as a high schooler, I know I would have taken the opportunity in an instant."

Written by Elisabeth Craig