Eat Your Heart Out, Robert Redford.

A couple of weeks ago, just fifty miles northwest of Sundance, UT, La Europa students put on their own film festival to rival the most famous. With a small budget and large imaginations, the girls used their time off of school to create, record, and edit their own short films.

The week started with a visit from James Dayton, a filmmaker who owns Indie Pictures, LLC and works at a studio owned by Disney. James taught the girls the art of telling their own stories, the concept of the hero’s journey, and how to storyboard.

After lunch and a group on conflict resolution, the girls were divided into film crews and got to test their skills as they got creative. Each group came up with their own concept and created scripts, storyboards, and filming schedules. That evening, they had the chance to view a powerful Sundance film about music therapy called The Music Never Stopped. The rest of the week was spent filming, editing, and learning how to work well together.

On Friday, after the girls got glammed up, their chauffeur took them to their red carpet film screening and awards ceremony. The movie stars were met by a crowd of paparazzi, a strict security guard who only let in the highest caliber of people, a DJ spinning tunes, an equally fancy audience, and a panel of film judges.

After viewing the girls’ completed creations, the judges awarded several certificates and trophies (Europies) for categories such as Excellence in Cinematography, Excellence in Editing, The Kelli T. Hansen Screenwriting Award, etc. There were also several peer-nominated girls who won awards and Euros for outstanding teamwork, leadership, and contribution throughout the week.

After a few speeches and a short impromptu dance party, the movie stars returned home to relax.

The first-annual La Europa Film Festival was a big success, and we are proud of our girls for their hard work, team spirit, and imagination. We look forward to more events like this in the future!

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