Students hit the big screen at Brickyard Film Festival
O’neil Cinemas opened up the theater to more than 200 people who attended the first-ever Brickyard Film Festival, which featured five short films produced by local students.
The teams of students pitched their projects to a panel of six community volunteers in early May. They were then awarded money to create the films and perform other related work.
“We wanted to get the message out that the older kids have to be good role models. Younger kids will be more likely to listen to us, so we have to show them that we’re willing to do something about the problem,” said 13-year-old Sophie Jordan, 13, who was featured in a film by Epping middle and high school students called “A Fork in the Road.”
Other films focused on issues like prescription drug abuse, underage drinking, and positive peer-to-peer mentoring. They were produced by youth from Timberlane Regional High School’s Peer Outreach; the Project Safety Association, a nonprofit involving Portsmouth middle and high school students; the Phoenix Family Focus youth group of Stratham; and the Raymond Coalition for Youth.
“Watching these films on the big screen and seeing the culmination of all that ingenuity from our young people was a testament to United Way’s vision for a strong community,” she said.
“I think it’s every kid’s dream at some point to be a movie star. To see yourself on the big screen was such a great experience,” said Emily Donovan, 13, of Epping, who also starred in the Epping film.
The films can be viewed at www.uwgs.org/films.