Films showcase student talent

For more than a decade the student film festival has showcased the work of budding filmmakers in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School district.

After a swell in submissions, 42 films made by collaborations between at least 150 students were turned in to be judged.

While the show is sponsored by Quest, the district’s talented and gifted program, it is open to all students in the district.

Students learned the technology, from clay animation to hand puppetry, along with video shooting and editing tools while they told stories, built fake news broadcasts or filmed imaginary dance-off scenes between foods.

“There were some that were at the high school level that were philosophical ... which was really nice to see,” said Cathleen Rolph, gifted education teacher in the district. “In the elementary, there were some that had a good message.”

Rolph and two colleagues spent a recent evening sorting through the movies and picking 17 to show during the festival.

Rolph said the audience would have the opportunity to choose three favorites from the 3-6 grade category and 7-12 category.

Bob Curtis-Johnson, owner of Summit Day Media, will host an interactive presentation with the students after the audience choice awards. Rolph said she was pleased with the effort, creativity and production quality of the films and that students get the chance to think outside of the box.

“They get to work in a group to do something that is very different than what they’re normally allowed to do,” Rolph said. “They’re given freedom to be creative, but then they also learn the technical aspect so then they have these technical skills. They’re able to really do a lot more.”


Rashah McChesney can be reached at


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