The Bolt Staff Writers Present Best YouthFEST Film at SFF

Adil Shariff & Ashley Munroe, Staff Writer

Recently, the Bolt staff had the opportunity to work on a new and exciting project, The Sarasota Film Festival’s Junior Jury. The Sarasota Film Festival is well-known around the country and is a huge event for those who live here.  The festival shows the best of new, upcoming films of independent filmmakers. Each year, more than 180 films are showcased, including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks.

Each day of the festival, the films ran from 10:00 a.m. to midnight daily at Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. If you missed out on this year’s festival, make sure you check it out next year from April 4-April 13. This year The Bolt staff not only got the opportunity to see some of these films, but to work alongside the staff to critique them.

ODA journalism students were this year’s Junior Jury for the Sarasota Film Festival. Journalists worked with Education Director, Allison Koehler, to learn how to properly critique and rate films based on five categories: Originality and Style, Pilot, Action and Dialogue, Character Development, Entertainment Value and Human interest, and Production Value and Editing.

For each of these categories, journalists were given a scale of 0-5 to rate films. Students watched a total of ten films to decide which was the winning film for the Youthfest category in the festival. After much deliberation, the ODA journalists decided on this year’s winning film, The Scared is Scared by Bianca Giaever.

“It was really fun to review all different types of films, and it definitely made me think about films in more detail,” says junior and staff writer, Kelli Bagwell.

At the end of the festival, students attended the festival’s red carpet for all of the students involved in the program, and two of our own journalists, Kelli and Adil, made a speech introducing the winning movie (see below).

Three weeks ago, the student paper at The Out-of-Door Academy was invited to participate in Junior Jury. Led by the amazing Allison Koehler, our Junior Jury “Spirit Guide,” we set to work watching ten different nominees, each ranging in length from two to twenty-six minutes. Careful to remain objective, we watched each film with pen in hand, writing down small details (great use of lighting here; oof! bad acting there) and eventually came to consensus. Okay, I’m lying. We didn’t “eventually” come to consensus. We fought over consensus, we debated, and even asked such impossible questions as, “but would this film get picked up?!” It wasn’t an easy choice as I’m sure many of you know having seen the amount of talent showcased this year.

The film that we selected was unlike any other that we watched during our week in Junior Jury. While other films had things like famous narrators, teams of animators, a full orchestra, and marbles that could be blown into light bulbs, the film we chose fell into its own category. This film had soaking wet costumes, cardboard swimming pools, and thirty seconds devoted to what color a box should be. When you first see this film, it might seem like a simple child’s story. But underneath the cardboard and the voice dubbed actors, the story reveals a much larger meaning. We not only smiled throughout the film, but afterwards, we were compelled to learn more about the people behind the scenes. After much debate about names and voices, for example, we had to look up the narrator’s name to see if it was a boy or a girl. It’s a boy by the way. So wrapped up in the process of selection, we temporarily halted production on the school paper to make time to finally come to a decision.

The film we chose was “the Scared is Scared.”

See the film yourself by clicking the picture of the pizza the left of the article.