Red Carpet Ready: Taft's Inaugural Film Festival

Student filmmakers recently debuted their work at Taft's inaugural film festival.

Video Arts Teacher Heather Dawson recently organized Taft’s inaugural Film Festival. The featured films were produced by students in Ms. Dawson’s advanced and intermediate film classes.

“Bingham Auditorium's grand design has a classic Hollywood feel to it which lends itself to being the perfect setting for a film festival,” says Dawson, an Emmy Award-winning director and producer with more than 20 years of experience in the film and television industry. “It's important to me that students have the opportunity to share their films with the Taft community the way films are meant to be seen—on the big screen!”

The films reflect the depth and breadth of learning that takes place in Dawson’s video arts classrooms. From scriptwriting and lighting techniques to camera angles, cinematic structure, and film editing, the student filmmakers applied classroom learning to real-world film production. They also brought their individual talents and creativity to the process.

“Filmmaking is a rigorous art form and student filmmakers at Taft put in countless hours of work outside the classroom to bring their visions to life,” says Dawson. 

And the commitment to the work extended beyond the student filmmakers.

“Since filmmaking is such a collaborative medium, students often pull from the Taft community to find actors, location, and costumes, so these films tend to have a broad reach,” Dawson notes. “I think holding an annual student film festival is a great way to honor the work of the filmmakers while also providing an opportunity for the community to gather together for some fun and celebration.”

A celebration that Dawson hopes will become an annual event. 

“The audience turnout exceeded all expectations! It was amazing to see how many students came out to show support for their friends.  We've already put the 2nd Annual Taft Film Festival on the calendar for next year.”






Congratulations to all of the filmmakers!


Ronald Ceesay, Martin Devino, Kaitlin Ip, Drew Niewinski and Sijie Yan

Upper Mids

Jasper Engle, Mason Harper, Yohan Fernando, Vikte Bartninkaite, and Brendan Toon


Nam Dao, Rory McNamara, and Bobby Wu

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