Hye-Mi Kim’s subtly heartwarming short film on her relationship with her mother took first place in the “Documentary” category at the international Film Now Festival in Pennsylvania last weekend.
The three-and-a-half minute film titled With Mum by the Kaywon Arts High School student beat other finalists from Canada (Madoka by Callahan Bracken) and Pennsylvania (Women’s March 2017 by Claire Kunzier and Mollie Maltin) during the festival tailored for high school students from around the world.
American Elliot Rico’s Open Your Hearts and Yoni Azulay’s Again took top spot for the “Experimental” and “Narrative” categories, respectively. Katie Mlinek of Baltimore won the Jury Prize for her narrative film, Ruth & Rosie.
Held at Ambler, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, the screening showed the productions of the nine finalists and five additional films (Honorable Mention), including those by students at Abington Senior High School, The Agnes Irwin School, Germantown Academy, Upper Dublin, and The William Penn Charter School.
The Film Now Festival was launched by Germantown Academy (GA) back in 2015 “out of a passion for guiding young people to the art of filmmaking” and seeks to showcase young filmmakers still in school and have their original work juried by industry professionals.
This year’s judges are GA’s alums, such as documentary filmmaker and Cinereach’s head of filmmaker development Natalie Difford.
The school boasts other eminent personalities who graduated from its roll, such as Bradley Cooper (actor and Academy Award nominee), Eve Cohen (award-winning cinematographer; VICE, CNN, MTV) and Brian Klugman (actor, screenwriter, director; The Words, Bones),
What sets Film Now apart from other high school film festivals is its “global and borderless” aspect, which organisers say is reflected in the number of schools and countries represented.
In total, 73 works were submitted for consideration by 42 schools from 12 states in the US and six other countries worldwide.