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Screening for a good cause
Coming to an auditorium near you is one of the greatest theatrical experiences Sequim students offer.
Vying for various scholarships and bragging rights for the best movie, students show off six films this Friday, April 19, at the Sequim Education Foundation’s Film Festival.
Going into its eighth year, the festival has fewer films than usual, but coordinator Elna Kawal says it’s still going to be difficult for judges to choose winners.
Films include “Biomimicry” by Derek Chamblin and Ian Jones; “Bad Breath and Beyond” by Brendon Hudson and Blake Wiker; “Murcielago” by Angela Bentley; “The Quest” by Damon Little, Kaylee Dunlap and Garrett Little; “Paint the Town” by Kyle Lee Gordeuk, Daniel Call, Luke Silliman, Stephen Silliman and Josh Finch; and “T3 News Report” by Torrie McIntyre, Tenille Tosland and Tristan Tosland.
These range from comedies to commercials to movie trailers to serious documentaries about the environment.
Angela Bentley won second place last year for “One Earth” and returns with a documentary about the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s research on bats in Gamboa, Panama, where she visited on spring break with her family.
“This is a great opportunity to show something you’ve done and learned so much about,” she said of the festival.
“Murcielago” is the second nonfiction, educational film she’s done in a row.
“I’ve thought about some fiction ideas but never liked where they went. I had more ideas that were nonfiction,” she said.
Her film focuses on scientists’ research on bats and current preservation efforts.
Bentley said in the past bats were considered pests and the movie tries to show that they are cool creatures.
She’s competing against Derek Chamblin and Ian Jones’ “Biomimicry” for the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society’s environmental award; in this case each film’s team receives $50 each.
Chamblin and Jones, both looking to go into the sciences after high school, converted their Sequim High School senior topics about oil and energy problems into research about companies’ efforts at new solutions, such as looking into whales for more efficient wind turbines and fans.
“It’s cool how much you can solve by just looking at nature,” Jones said.
The boys return to the festival after making “Un Mundo Sin Taco Bell” last year with a group, earning Chamblin best actor honors.
Even though their film presents the problems, Chamblin said they show there is hope and that everyone should support the solutions.
Another filmmaker, Brendon Hudson, has entered three times before, winning a second-place award with his sister, Holly, a few years ago for “Survivor Banana Belt.” He has also won an Elkie award, an audience award for their favorite film.
This year he worked with his cousin Blake Wiker on “Bad Breath and Beyond,” a fun commercial with a twist.
After four films, Hudson said he comes back yearly because he enjoys the acting most of all and for his latest flick he hopes “people come away with a good laugh.”
The filmmakers hope more students participate in the future because it offers an opportunity to win scholarships and have a lot of fun.
“We’re already doing films for some classes, so it’s a good opportunity to share them,” Jones said.
“I remember watching the films in middle school and thinking I wanted to do that.”
The festival is open to all Sequim students in grades 6-12 with all proceeds benefiting college scholarships.
First place is $3,000 in scholarships and $300 in cash; second is $2,250 in scholarships and $150 in cash; third is $1,500 and $60 in cash, some restrictions apply to the number of participants per winner.
For more information, visit www.sequimed.org.