A Masked Film Festival!

One of my favorite things about the flexibility we have with the ARCTIC Zone is the ability to join together with family and friends to celebrate learning! The one project we carry over year after year is our annual Film Festival. Each year focuses on a different component of film-making (cinematography, storytelling, etc.). This year, as with everything else, we were unsure of how the film projects would unfold. Mask-wearing and distancing would not allow for easy filming opportunities. But the show must go on, and we found a way!

This year’s film focus: animation! For the first time ever, we had an entirely animated Film Festival! Every student began by writing a story of their own. They then joined students of other grade levels to form small working groups. A story was selected and screenplays were written. We spent several days tinkering with different types of animation like hand-drawn animation, claymation, object animation, and cut-out animation. From here, groups selected their animation of choice and created a storyboard to follow during the shooting process.

Animating provided unique challenges. Do you know how many frames are needed to create a fluid stop-motion sequence of 2-4 minutes in length? A lot! With new challenges came new opportunities, as well. It was very fun to see a spotlight shone on the talents of some of our very artistic students. We have many!

This past weekend, a panel of eight community members came to Northstar to view all finished films. Each judge critiqued one or two categories. Films were critiqued on the following components: Compelling Story, Creativity & Originality, Framing/Shot Selection, Animation, Sound Editing, and Video Editing. The top eight films were aired on the big screen at the Micon Budget Cinema in downtown Eau Claire this evening! It was an exclusive event, shown only to the top eight film makers and their guests. The top three films were awarded with movie gift cards!

Congratulations to …

Third Place: The Whisper

(Sam, Lin, Olivia, & Cadence)

Second Place: What’s Our Talent?

(Madison, Maddie, Charleigh, & Anna)

First Place: Metaphysical

(Michelle, Cienna, & Montana)

Our celebrations of learning bring me so much joy. It is a time to reflect on the hard work of the past few weeks and months. It is a time to laugh together, to learn together, to be together. When leaving the theater tonight, my face literally hurt from smiling, as it does after every ARCTIC Zone celebration. This one was different, though. After over a year of distance and isolation, uniting as one community of students, staff, and families to celebrate together was very special. It felt like a new beginning. And as the end of this school year very quickly approaches, I like the sound of that. May this ending be a new beginning for us all…

One thought on “A Masked Film Festival!

  1. Maggie Schoenfeld says:

    What a terrific project! So good to see the students engaged and collaborating together, including parents and the wider community. I hope this grows on us all. Thank you for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s