Marvelwood’s Film Studies program had some major highlights this year. After being awarded a grant through the IMAX IN FOCUS program, student filmmakers worked with the Civic Life Project at Stamford Academy to make a short documentary on one of the United Nations Global Initiatives. The documentary, Inalienable, explores healthcare access for undocumented immigrants
Now in its second year, IMAX IN FOCUS is a multi-faceted philanthropic program to benefit student film programs, to help the next generation of filmmakers develop their creative abilities and use the power of film to drive positive change. IMAX has worked with the All-American High School Film Festival to identify exemplary schools, which Marvelwood participated in last year with its Civic Life film, The Magic of the Atom and film studies short The Spirit of the Dead. Out of 40 high school film programs nominated, five were selected by IMAX IN FOCUS to participate.
In May, two Film Studies productions won top prizes at the Skills21 at EdAdvance Red Carpet Film Festival, a state-wide film festival for student filmmakers. The best five-minute documentary went to Ethan Allen: American Icon, which explores legendary American Ethan Allen's connection to the Northwest Corner of Connecticut (hint: think cannons, not furniture); How to Ask Out Girls, a silly step-by step guide for talking to girls in high school, won for best comedy.
2018-2019 Film Studies Productions
A political satire of the trump era, Duck and Cover is a modern remake of the Cold War safety film Duck and Cover.
Produced by Jack Whittier ‘18
Directed by Zack Plotnick ‘18
Written by Jack Whittier ‘18, Jay Sheehan ‘19 & Zack Plotnick ‘18
Starring: Jack Whittier ‘18, Jay Sheehan ‘19, David Rednick ‘19, Sam Brody ‘18, Eugene Dolan ‘18 & Echo Jiang ‘18
This documentary project explores legendary American Ethan Allen's connection to the Northwest Corner of Connecticut (hint: think cannons, not furniture). Ethan Allen: American Icon was produced as part a partnership between Marvelwood and the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area and the National Parks Service.
Directed and Edited by Owen Tacy ‘20
Film Crew & Researchers: Aidan Mulvihil ‘19, David Simanovsky ‘19, Jack Whittier ‘18
Supervising Instructors: Val Dumitrascu P’19 and Ben Willis, with assistance from Dan Bolognani, Executive Director of the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area.
Award: Best Five-Minute Documentary, Skills21 at EdAdvance Red Carpet Film Festival
A silly step-by step guide for talking to girls in high school: what starts as a farce, How to Ask Out Girls, ends with an insightful message about just being yourself.
Directed by Zack Plotnick ‘18
Produced by Oliver Sanchez ‘20
Starring: Zack Plotnick ‘18, Vera Hudson ‘19, Victoria Sanchez ‘18, Lauren Grenier ‘18, Andrea Lorrusso ‘19, Miu Tamai ‘19
Film Crew: Oliver Sanchez ‘20, Holly Schwinn ‘19, Aidan Weinstein ‘19
Award: Best Comedy, Skills21 at EdAdvance Red Carpet Film Festival
Inalienable explores healthcare access for undocumented immigrants. An eight-minute documentary, this production was made possible by a grant from IMAX as part of their IMAX IN FOCUS program. Marvelwood was one of five schools out of 40 to be chosen to participate.
Directed by Maxfield Branson ‘18
Producers: Owen Tacy ‘20, Kyrie Mbonu ‘20, Sam Brody ‘18
Lead Writer: Sam Brody ‘18
Lead Researcher and Behind-the-Scenes Videographer: Cole Branson ‘21
Ambulance Reenactment with John Russell ‘88, Owen Tacy ‘20, Ke "Coco" Tan ‘18
Award: Best Film, Marvelwood Film Festival
Future screening: All American High School Film Festival in New York City in the fall
A page-to-screen project, the film is a creative imagining of the poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. Film Studies students read poems in class and chose one to visually interpret on screen, and each had an opportunity to direct one stanza of the poem.
Producer: Belle Cameron ‘18
Directors: Cole Branson ‘21, Jared Ganeles ‘18, Avante Walker ‘19, James Errichetti ‘21, Aidan Mulvihill ‘19
Starring: Jared Ganeles ‘18, John Kennedy P’14, 18, ‘22, Toni Presti
Editor: Aidan Mulvihill ‘19
A satire of classic film noir inspired by Kiss Me Deadly and Double Indemnity. Under parental pressure to get a real job, a young man puts down his Xbox controller and creates a Detective Agency. Jake Reynolds: Private Eye is an ambitious and edgy project featuring incredible and memorable student performances by Bella Dumitrascu ‘19 & Trevor Spencer ‘19.
Producers: Quinn Downie ‘19 & Natasha Nash ‘19
Director: David Touitou ‘18
Starring: Trevor Spencer ‘19, Bella Dumitrascu ‘19
Supporting Actors: Eugene Dolan ‘18, Peter Tarlinsky ‘19
Crew: Justin Decoteau ‘19, Aidan Weinstein ‘19, Zack Plotnick ‘18, James Duffy ‘20, Jack Mutter ‘19
*Click title to view on YouTube