For the third consecutive year, Kaiser’s Media Communications Learning Center (MCLC) visited New York City to participate in the All American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF). Accompanied by Vice Principal Dana Takahara-Dias and MCLC advisors Tanya Misi and Aaron Yoshino, the eleven budding filmmakers competed in the national festival. “Being given the opportunity to go to competitions…allows us to branch out and become recognized, not just statewide, but nationally,” said Misi.
As the world’s largest lm festival, the AAHSFF gives students an opportunity to connect with industry professionals, view other creators’ work, and build relationships with other students who share the same passion.
The seniors (Gearld Canaday IV, Krystal Spear, Shannon Takahashi, Albert Insisiengmay, Tyler Bender, Hunter Dias, Landon Shigeta, Megan Kaneshiro, Jordan Sunada, Noah Matsumoto, and Riley-Jade Yee) had 10 weeks for pre-production and three days to film and edit their piece called The Art of Falling Apart. Gearld Canaday’s, Joshua Olson’s, and Tyler Bender’s film The Orange Collar was chosen to be an official selection piece, and was screened in the AMC (American Multi-Cinema) Theater at Times Square. “Seeing your lm on the big screen is amazing. Looking back at the whole process–from developing a script to seeing it on a camera screen, a computer screen, and then on the AMC Theater’s screen–it’s exciting,” said Canaday.
Vice Principal Takahara-Dias also shared her positive sentiments: “All the students involved worked incredibly hard to be-come skilled filmmakers,” said Takahara-Dias. “As an administrator, it’s really heart-warming to see what the students are doing in school. [They’re actually transferring and generalizing the skills] that [they] learned in order to compete on the national and international level. As a school, it’s such an honor to see our kids excel.”
The trips allow students to be recognized for their hard work, and also provide them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.While in New York, the students explored the bustling streets of the city. Canaday said, “I had a really good time seeing La Fanciulla Del West in the Metropolitan Opera House. I think it was my favorite part of the trip.”
The administration places great importance on providing students in programs, such as MCLC, with opportunities to show-case their skills. “Supporting our youth in the arts is something we need to see more of,” said Takahara-Dias. “Technology is such a big eld, and creativity, and to mesh neo-arts with creativity into the realm of film; it’s such a great example of what our kids can do.” Krystal Spear agreed, saying “Going to New York was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially being able to do so with a lot of my close friends…we all became closer through the trip.”