Film Students Shine at Bridge Film Festival

George School film students were recognized for their work in the 2020 Bridge Film Festival, an international showcase that centers on Quaker values and spotlights the work of film students at Friends Schools. Spicey Spices, a music video by Ben O’Neill ’22 & CJ Jaikaria ’22, took first place in the New Media Category.

“The most lighthearted of the award winners, this musical performance saw the students take their love for hip-hop music and come up with a clever song about community that included positive messages of individuality, rejection discrimination, and helping save the environment,” reported Joan Martin from Brooklyn Friends School. “The judges praised the song and video for its ‘different take on Quaker values.’”

Angelic Troublemakers: Striking for the Climate by Matt McMullen ’20 is a short documentary about the Climate Strike, climate activism, and George School’s role in the movement. The film cuts between interviews with George School students and teachers who participated in a climate march in Philadelphia and footage from the march itself. The interviews highlight the history of Quaker involvement in social movements for change. The judges lauded the film’s editing and the quality of the interviews.

“Wow! Really fantastic on so many levels—camera shots, editing, sound, interview quality, and more. I really enjoyed the embedded Quaker relevancy. And I found your student interviews depicted real sincerity. And that comes from excellent collaborative work in making the interviewee feel at ease. Well done!”

A Chat with Dave by Frederic Perera ’21 is a narrative film that focuses on a student named Tessa who is not living up to her potential. She changes her ways after talking to a mysterious force that goes by the name “Dave,” becoming kinder to others and studying harder in school. The judges singled out the cinematography and creative uses of the camera for particular recognition.

“I love this film: smart, interesting concept and a strong screenplay. Love the idea of voices in our heads (whether it be a god, spirituality, moral compass, mentors) – and the struggle of whether to follow them or reject them. Actors were wonderful; soundtrack was effective and I love the bit of humor at the end. And now you have the setup for your sequel. Bravi!”

Out of the Blue by Aqua Withers ‘21 and Lauren Scott ’20 is a public service announcement that focuses on the importance of community and friendship for a student who is going through a hard time. After breaking up with his girlfriend, the film’s subject suffers from a lack of motivation in school, but, fortunately, one of his friends recognizes that he has become withdrawn and reaches out. The judges were impressed by the use of the device of flashback.

“This is a really beautiful short film. You really feel the boy’s pain and how lonely he feels. I love the way you capture how he’s feeling—that is not easy to do. Films are supposed to foster empathy in us and this does it really beautifully.”

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