Shorewood senior nabs top film prize

Since its inception in 2008, Milwaukee Film offered an educational program called Collaborative Cinema that pairs up Wisconsin filmmakers with local high school students. The goal is to teach younger people screenwriting and filmmaking skills to help further the local film industry.

Collaborative Cinema sponsored a screenplay contest this year, and earlier this week, the winner was announced. Shorewood High School senior Celia Carroll won First Place for her script, “The Magical Camera,” that will be made into a short film and screened at the 2011 Milwaukee Film Festival that takes place from Sept. 22 to Oct. 2.

“I am really excited and can’t wait to see my work at the Oriental Theater,” says Carroll. “I am also nervous.”

Rufus King High School sophomore Jack Ceschin came in Second Place with his script entitled, “The Duck,” and Samantha Kosarzycki, a junior at Greendale High School, came in Third with “Sempre Giusto.” All three of the winners will receive a yet-to-be-determined cash prize.

“The Magical Camera,” which will be shot in July, is about a nomadic photographer who travels from town to town, controlling people through the lense of his camera and by taking their most valuable possession.

More than 100 high school students submitted scripts. “We narrowed down the field through a series of workshops with local professional screenwriters and filmmakers,” says Milwaukee Film’s marketing director, Blyth Meier.

Milwaukee native Christian Otjen – who also directed the 2001 Milwaukee-based thriller “Lady In The Box” – will direct Carroll’s film. Mark Metcalf and Susan Kerns, who serves as the Milwaukee Film Education Director, will produce the film. A collection of professionals, college students and high school students will also be a part of the crew.

Local high school students are invited to take part in the creation of the film through Milwaukee Film’s special workshop that allows them to work with a professional film set crew.

In 2010, Milwaukee Film expanded its film festival offering to kids with “Take One: Milwaukee Children’s Film Festival,” a collection of movies that were appropriate for kids ages 3 to 11.

Currently, Carroll is in the process of writing a final version of her script. This summer, after graduating in June, will travel to Guatemala to volunteer in an orphanage. She will attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the fall.

“I feel exceedingly blessed to have the chance to work with people who are so influential in Milwaukee film, and to be able to see how movies are made,” says Carroll.

Milwaukee Film is a non-profit organization that hosts Milwaukee’s premiere film festival. The 2010 Milwaukee Film Festival drew over 30,000 attendees with 26 sold-out screenings.

The Call for Entries for the 2011 Film Festival is now open.


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