Freshman creates film festival for high school students

by Samantha stark

starksa@mnstate.edu

Film production freshman Rachel Soland has dreamed of going into film since she was a kid.

“In 8th grade, I realized that people made careers out of work in the film industry and I knew it was what I wanted to do,” she said.

Coming from a Midwest high school of 700 students that didn’t provide an outlet for film fanatics, Soland worried she would never have the opportunity to showcase her talents and express her passion for film.

Motivated, Soland started her high school’s first film production organization her sophomore year. The AV Club mostly filmed sporting events for the news, but with the equipment provided by the telecom company, they were able to make other videos as well.

“I led two film projects, which were basically commercials for local businesses,” Soland said. “In high school, this was the biggest opportunity I was given to pursue something I love.”

This experience sparked her idea for the Red River High School Film Festival sponsored by film professor Anthony Adah and the Film Loop, an MSUM organization dedicated to film discussion and debate.

“Now as a freshman in college, I want to be able to provide an opportunity for other high schoolers looking for a way to showcase their art as well, whether their school provides any film opportunities or not,” she said.

The film festival is geared toward students in Minnesota and North Dakota exclusively. Soland said that high school students must lead the project, although actors or crew can be of any age.

“The friends I’ve made in the MSUM Film Loop have helped a lot,” Soland said.

The deadline to submit films is Mar. 31, and there is a late fee of $10 if the film is submitted after the deadline. Films can be of any length or genre.

Soland said they are planning on having three screening festivals on Apr. 25.

The location is still to be determined, though she said she had her sights on Weld auditorium.

Interested high school students can upload their productions to a video-sharing site like YouTube or Vimeo and email the link to solandra@mnstate.edu. Otherwise, they may send a hard copy to 316 Dahl, Moorhead, Minn.

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