‘Summer’ movie reigns at film fest

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Crazy snowboard tricks, exploding nuclear power plants and vengeful gremlins — all in a night’s viewing.

The fifth-annual Sequim Education Foundation Student Film Festival had that and more, as filmmakers, family, film fans and foundation members celebrated their flicks at Sequim High School’s Performing Arts Center on Friday night.

“The Summer Wind Came Killing In,” a collaboration of Ravi Carlson and Michael Cullinan, was the big winner. The film took Best Picture and the Elkie Award for fans’ choice, while Cullinan took home Best Actor.

“We never really wrote out the whole script,” Cullinan admitted following the festival.

Carlson, taking the lead in adding the impressive special effects, said the editing and “getting things to work right” were the toughest parts of the filmmaking process.

Senior Holly Hudson took home the Best Actress Award, belting out key screams in her role in “Survivor Banana Belt.”

She and freshman brother Brendon collaborated on the project that took home second place overall.

“I just really have a high-pitched scream,” Holly Hudson said. “It gets attention.”

She said the project was fun, particularly after getting to work with her underclassman sibling.
“I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else,” she said.

“The Great Race,” another family project involving siblings Jed, Jenny and Luke Mooney, took third place overall.

The top filmmakers take home $1,000 each in scholarships while runner-ups get $750 each and third place finishers earn $500.

Christian Merrikin, a senior at Sequim High School, won a raffle for a laptop computer.

Elna Kawal, film festival chair, said the festival was created to broaden the scope of scholarships the foundation awarded and to get students more excited about school.

She said all the efforts from foundation members, volunteers and sponsors of putting on the festival and the prefestival spaghetti feed were worth it.

“I thought it was a fun night — you could just feel the energy,” Kawal said. “It’s always worth it to see the kids honored for all their hard work.”

Reach Michael Dashiell at

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