WILLIAMSON – Middle school students at Williamson Pre K-8 are participating in the second annual UPIKE Film and Media Arts Festival at the Booth Auditorium at noon on Friday, April 8.
Shannon Blackburn, Principal at Williamson PK-8, recently discussed the upcoming festival with the Williamson Daily News. Blackburn stated, “Our school tries to do a film every year. Last year, we did a short film that was about 20 minutes long. It was entered into the UPIKE Film Festival and we also premiered it at the South Side Mall.”
The UPIKE film festival is open to professionals, college students, high school students and middle school students.
The event listing on the UPIKE website explains that a variety of films are accepted including: documentary, animation, music video, and traditional narrative.
Awards and cash prizes will be given to Best of Show, Best Professional Film, Best College Film, Best High School Film, Best Middle School Film and Best UPIKE Student Film.
The event listing also states that high school seniors that submit a high quality film will be considered for a Film and Media Arts Scholarship to UPIKE.
Blackburn explained that last year the Williamson PK-8 film students created a film that focused on a serious topic. This year, the students took a different direction concerning the type of film. This year’s film is also much longer than the film submitted at the previous film festival.
“Last year, it was a film to raise awareness about bullying. It was more of a serious topic. We swept the film festival last year. This year, the film class decided to go with more of a light hearted film. It is a comedy. It is actually an hour long. It is basically about West Virginia’s search for the top eighth grade student both physically and academically,” Blackburn said.
The film festival is a two day event with the main event being the competitive screening of the films in the Booth Auditorium. The Booth Auditorium is located at the Record Memorial Building which connects to the free city parking deck. Those attending the film festival are encouraged to park in the free parking area.
All screenings are free and open to the public. The event listing states, “We encourage the filmmakers whose works are selected to screen also bring their friends and family to support them by voting in our audience choice award competition that will take place during each screening block.”
Blackburn encourages everyone to attend the festival in support of Williamson PK-8 students. “They will be showing our film at noon on April 8. We want to invite the community. It is free. Anyone that wants to come out and support the film, come on out to the Booth Auditorium around noon. They will be showing films all day. We hope to defend our title,” Blackburn stated.
For more information on the UPIKE Film and Media Festival visit https://filmfreeway.com/festival/fmafest.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)