Lee’s Summit R-7 School District students recently captured awards in the Reel Spirit: Young Filmmaker Showcase 2013, held April 13 at the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet in Kansas City.
Reel Spirit is the youth division of Kansas City FilmFest, the region’s largest film festival.
Winning productions were shown on the big screen at the Alamo Theater in four different showcases throughout the morning and afternoon. John Mertz from KCPT Television hosted the elementary and middle school divisions’ showcases and Michelle Davidson from Action 41’s daily morning show, “KCLive,” hosted the new high school showcase.
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District elementary students winning first-place awards are Kaitlyn Guest, Alejandro Guerrero, Kara Sargent, Selah Wheeler, Myah Frashier and Zyza Cooley, Mason Elementary, documentary; Logan Higgins, Lauren Holdmeyer, Ali Mathes, Zack Wilson, Woodland Elementary, narrative; Rai Angolo, Logan Antey, Cody Bahl, Alyssa Harmon, Landon Mackey, Max Pycior and Josh Rehwaldt, Pleasant Lea Elementary, narrative; Tate Turner, Cora Gadd and Valerie Fry, Highland Park Elementary, news feature; Thomas Gray, Lizzie Marshall and Caleb Cox, Sunset Valley Elementary, news feature; Shannon Bell, Libby Bastow, Landon Boaz, Luke Eggers, Jameson Hardin, Annalise Lawlor, Jack Dumler, Brianna Pfiefer, Eddie Pease, Jadon Schwartz and Catherine Ward, Longview Farm Elementary, public-service announcement; Sadie Bomar and Sam Royce, Sunset Valley Elementary, public-service announcement; Grant Hitchcock, Lauren Schwepker, Maddy Dreyer, Maddie Godfrey, Julie Welsh and Jacob Bradley, Richardson Elementary, commercial; Selah Wheeler, Kaitlyn Guest, Kara Sargent, Alejandro Guerrero, Nina Gardner and Jared Rice, Mason Elementary, science-technology-engineering-math (STEM).
High school winners from Lee’s Summit R-7 were Jaci Herron and Lauren Roberts of Lee’s Summit High School, commercial; Kalie Emma, Luke Millard and Estevan Mota of Lee’s Summit West High School, narrative; Danielle Foley and Jack Nippert of LSHS, news feature; and Savannah Gentry and Sarah Laemmli of LSHS, public-service announcement.
Celebrating local young filmmakers from ages 8 to 18 from the Kansas City metropolitan area and beyond, the Reel Spirit Showcase provides an opportunity for children to create, write, act, direct, film, edit and produce their own video productions and have winning entries shown on the big screen.
This year, over 350 children representing over 125 productions submitted entries from Missouri, Kansas and beyond. Independent judges, professionals in the media and technology fields from Kansas City area judged entries.
The Reel Spirit Showcase highlights winning productions across several categories including animation, documentary, public service announcement, commercial, narrative (comedy/drama), news feature and Reel Spirit of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
There are four divisions – Division 1 (second and third grades), Division 2 (fourth, fifth and sixth grades), Division 3 (seventh and eighth grades) and Division 4 (high school).
Winning filmmakers received certificates, “Oscar” style trophies and were given the “red carpet” treatment. Filmmakers were kept in suspense until their names and film title were announced as to which place, first, second or third, their production won.
Young filmmakers also had the opportunity to participate in media workshops presented by professionals in film production, Chad Godfrey, Joe Heyen and Peter Hriso.
A surprise addition for the young filmmakers and the showcase audiences was a screening of the Academy Award Oscar-winning animated short, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”
Reel Spirit organizers, Barbara Noble and Toni Travalent, arranged the screening from Moonbot Studios and a special message from the Oscar-winning director, Brandon Oldenburg for the Reel Spirit filmmakers as a source of “reel” inspiration to the filmmakers.