The Three Day Film Challenge
Imagine this: the starry lights of Times Square, a big screen, tons of popcorn, all your friends, and a huge crowd watching your film, a film you have worked so hard on for the past ten weeks! This is the experience of almost every participant in the Three Day Film Challenge.
The prompt for this year’s challenge was “state of mind.” The only restrictions of the challenge were that contestants must plan a video in ten weeks, then film and edit a six-minute video in the span of three days, which this year took place in mid-October. Participants include high school students from all over the U.S., Canada, and Central America. A film festival of submitted films is held each year at the AMC Theater in Times Square. During this festival, participants are able to showcase their films to the general public.
Subsequently, the winner of the competition receives a film-related scholarship or cash award. Last year’s winner, Chelsea Eisen, received a $40,000 scholarship for her film, Questionable, in which a high school girl named Lina Hawthorne seeks to find a label that most matches her to put on her forehead, as everyone within the universe of her film is required to have this label placed on their head. Fed up with the necessity for labels, Lina rebels against this system and chooses to exist as her labels self.
This year, Packer students Graham Hall (‘21), Alex Kyritsis (‘20), Aidan Jelveh (‘20), Ethan Rothschild (‘20), Jordan Renville (‘20), Eli Harrell (‘20), Aden Katz (‘22), and Sebastian Allais (‘20) participated in the challenge. For many in this group, it is their third time entering the competition.
Graham explained that although they did not win last year, they chose to participate again because it is “fun and a great learning experience.” However, much like any undertaking, creating the movie comes with challenges. According to Jordan, the Director of Photography, the film production process is difficult to balance with the college application process and the general stress of school. According to Aidan, the participants even have to prioritize film work over schoolwork “just to make time for work related to the film festival.”
When asked about the contents of the film, Graham said that it is “a comedy. Aden Katz is going to be the main character, and if you think of what ‘state of mind’ could be, there’s a lot of possibilities, but it’s a comedy about a kid …But you’ll have to see when it comes out.”
At the end of it all, our Pelicans were nominated as a finalist in the final eight schools out of thirty.