Jesuit Festival to Showcase Budding Student Filmmakers

You won’t find any future Hollywood blockbusters at the inaugural Jesuit Film Festival, but that’s not the point. Instead, you might see some early works by some future stars of the silver screen.

The festival is slated for May 8-9 on the Jesuit campus, and it won’t just include short films from budding teenage filmmakers on the Preston Hollow campus. Rather, organizers have opened it up to any high school students worldwide.

The result has yielded a pool of more than 50 submissions, mostly from area schools such as Highland Park, Greenhill, St. Mark’s, Ursuline, and W.T. White. But there also are hopefuls from as far away as Ohio, New Jersey, Vermont, and even Denmark.

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WHEN: May 8-9

PARTICIPANTS: Entries include those from student filmmakers at Jesuit, Ursuline, St. Mark’s, Greenhill, Highland Park, W.T. White, and many others.

MORE INFORMATION: jesuitcp.org/filmfestival

“We just put it out there on social media to see what we could get,” said David Myers, co-chair of the fine-arts department at Jesuit. “It’s been coming along nicely.”

An alumni jury will narrow the pool down to about 20-25 films for public presentation prior to the festival. The grand-prize winner will get a Black Go-Pro 4K camera, with other awards slated for acting, screenwriting, and editing.

Jesuit already boasts some noteworthy alumni ties to the film industry, including the late writer and actor Kit Carson (Paris, Texas); comedian Wyatt Cenac; film executive Tom Bernard; Chris Cantwell, creator of the AMC series “Halt and Catch Fire;” and actor and stuntman James Logan.

The idea for the festival made sense for Myers and his colleagues as Jesuit introduced a filmmaking program to its arts curriculum for the first time. The school opened a new 1,500-square-foot film lab with state-of-the-art equipment this year.

“The film festival is kind of the natural culmination of all this work,” Myers said. “The quality of films we’ve received is outstanding.”

Myers said whether or not Jesuit students win prizes for their work isn’t as important as the experience the festival should generate.

“The idea is to try and get the best films shown on our campus so our students can be exposed to that,” he said. “Hopefully it makes them better just seeing what’s out there.”

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