DEMING — When Liz Gomez and Jesse Kriegel tracked student filmmakers from the Media Arts Club at Deming High School in Espanola, NM, they felt the group had a chance to be recognized for their work at the Film Prize Jr. New Mexico Festival. . The two DHS media/arts professors have a keen eye for talent recognition, as do the judges of this inaugural film festival.
DHS students were honored and took home the top two awards at this first-ever film festival held in New Mexico. “We are excited to share our news with the community,” said Jesse Kriegel, DHS Art Department Manager.
Seniors Jared Trevizo and Victoria Chacon won in the documentary category and also won the grand prize, the judges’ prize, for their documentary film “Estela en el Mar” (A Ships’ Wake), which chronicles the struggles of students at dual citizenship who have an experience in Mexico while attending Deming Schools.
The judges awarded the 10-minute film a grant of $2,500 to be used by the school’s media club. The club’s students participated in the production of the two winning films under the direction of Gomez.
DHS junior Jaoquin Kriegel won the audience award for his comedy “Deuce.” The film took a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” approach to a situation that is compounded and obstructed, and synonymous with the word “Deuce”.
“Those are the two highest awards given at the festival,” Jesse Kriegel told Headlight. You can see the winning films on https://www.filmprizem.com/.
“I’m incredibly proud of everything our media students have accomplished this year. They’re incredibly creative and always excited to learn about new equipment and software,” Gomez said. “I feel like they’ve set that bar for the future of the media program.”
The festival, held Saturday and Sunday in Spanish, featured 62 films from 38 schools in 16 New Mexico counties. Over 500 students participated in the past school year.
“They put their creativity and their heart into these films, and for me, they are all winners,” said Rosey Hyatt, director of the Junior Film Prize New Mexico.
“The judges must have had a hard time choosing because these films were all so creative and so remarkable in so many ways,” said Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus. “What a brilliant way to expose New Mexico students to the collaborative and creative art of filmmaking and invite them to begin considering careers in this growing New Mexico industry.”
The winning Deming High School productions were funded by the school district’s Career and Technical Education Grants, the federal Carl D. Perkins Program, and the state NextGen Program, administered by the Department of Education’s College and Career Readiness Bureau. New Mexico public education.
“Any school district or charter school interested in media or film programs can use ETC funding to support these efforts. It’s a good time to start planning student productions to compete in the second annual Jr New Mexico Film Prize in April 2023,” said PED’s Susan Chaudoir, who has collaborated with Film Prize Jr New Mexico and its partners to make of the festival a success. “The exposure students receive in such a place can open up the academic and professional pathways that CTE students need.”
The Film Prize Junior New Mexico Festival student film program is presented to middle and high school students in New Mexico. It is a branch of the Louisiana Film Prize and the Junior Film Prize Louisiana which is associated with the company Stagecoach Production.
“Our after-school program really encompasses a wide range of talent. We’ve combined Wildcat Productions (film), The Broadcaster (journalism), and the Art Club,” Gomez explained. “The possibilities for student creation are endless. It gives students from different fields the potential to shine and participate in the creation of films. It’s amazing to see everyone coming together to work on the films.”
The films have been available online on the Junior Film Prize New Mexico website since ahead of the weekend festival to allow voting for audience favorites. They also premiered Saturday at Mitchell Theaters Dreamcatcher 10 in Española. Prizes, including more than $5,000 in scholarships and media grants, were presented to Moving Arts Española on Sunday.
In the high school category:
• Audience Award for Best Short Film: “Deuce” by Deming High School
• Jury Prize for Best Short Film: “Estela En El Mar” from Deming High School
• Best Comedy: “What’s the name of the game?” from the New Mexico School of the Arts
• Best Drama: “I Really Like You Too” from the MASTERS program, Santa Fe Community College
• Best Sci-Fi/Thriller Film: Capital High School’s “House Sitting”
• Best Documentary/PSA: “Estela En El Mar” by Deming High School
A panel of industry professionals voted for the Judges’ Choice Awards in each division.