The New México Public Education Department congratulates students from Deming High School who took home the top prize and hundreds of other students statewide who participated in New Mexico’s inaugural student film festival.
Deming High School students won the Judges’ Choice Award for Best Short Film for the 10-minute documentary “Estela En El Mar,” which they wrote, directed, filmed and edited for the Film Prize Junior New México student film festival. Another Deming High film, “Deuce,” won the Audience Choice Award in the same category.
“The judges must have had an incredibly hard time choosing because these films were all so creative and so remarkable in many different ways,” Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said. “What a brilliant way to expose New México students to the collaborative, creative art of filmmaking and invite them to begin considering careers in this growing New México industry.”
The festival, held on April 23 and 24 in Española, featured 62 films from 38 schools in 16 New México counties. More than 500 students participated over the past school year.
“They poured their creativity and hearts into these films, and to me, they’re all winners,” said Rosey Hayett, director of Film Prize Junior New México.
The winning Deming High School productions were funded through the school district’s Career and Technical Education grants, Carl D. Perkins federal program and NextGen state program, administered by the New México Public Education Department’s College and Career Readiness Bureau.
“Any school district or charter school with an interest in media or film programs can use CTE funding to support these efforts. Now is a good time to start planning student productions to enter into the second annual Film Prize Jr New México next April 2023,” said PED’s Susan Chaudoir, who collaborated with Film Prize Jr New México and its partners to make the festival a success. “The exposure students receive in such a venue can open the college and career pathways CTE students need.”
The films have been available online at the Film Prize Junior New Mexico website prior to the weekend festival to allow for audience-favorite voting. They also were shown April 23 at Mitchell Theatres Dreamcatcher 10 in Española. Awards, including more than $5,000 in scholarships and media grants, were presented Sunday at Moving Arts Española. In the high school category:
-Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film: “Deuce” from Deming High School
-Judges’ Choice Award for Best Short Film: “Estela En El Mar” from Deming High School
-Best Comedy: “What’s the Name of the Game?” from New Mexico School for the Arts
-Best Drama: “I Really Like You Too” from MASTERs Program, Santa Fe Community College
-Best Sci-Fi/Thriller: “House Sitting” from Capital High School
-Best Documentary/PSA: “Estela En El Mar” from Deming High School
In the middle school division:
-Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film: “Life in the Rez” from Tse Bit’Ai Middle School
-Judges’ Choice Award for Best Short Film: “EARTH” from homeschooled
-Best Comedy: “Bobo Jones” from Cottonwood Valley Charter School
-Best Drama: “Eggshell” from YMCA Los Alamos Teen Center
-Best Sci-Fi/Thriller: “Camp Sunshine” from Roots and Wings Community School
-Best Stop Motion/Animation: “EARTH” from homeschooled
-Best Documentary/PSA: “Pinwel Tah” from Pictures Pueblo Education Department
A panel of industry professionals voted for the Judges’ Choice Awards in each division.
Film Prize Junior New México is sponsored by the Santa Fe Film Office, Regional Development Corp., City of Santa Fe, Town of Taos, Dollars for Schools and Robert T. Keeler Foundation.
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