Blaine film students win third in local contest

Published on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 by By Tara Nelson

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Pictured above, from left to right, Errol teichert, Izaac Wilkowski, Gage Allen, Dustin Effinger, Justin Finley



A group of Blaine high school students earned a popular vote in the Pickford Film Center’s Guerilla Film Project competition last weekend.

The group, called “Dead Director’s Society,” earned third place in the audience choice awards among several dozen entries. Their film “Insomniac’s Dawn” profiled the lives of three insomniacs who must find a way to overcome their hardships in order to not let their ailment continue to run their lives.

“So the film is basically about three insomniacs who all have different reasons for their illness and they have different ways of coping that are dangerous to their lives,” said Blaine senior Errol Teichert, who worked on the project with Blaine high school students Justin Finley, Dustin Effinger, Gage Allen, and Izaac Wilkowski.

“One character is a girl who was raped years before and she resorts to cutting herself, we see another character whose mother dies and he throws back pain killers to deal with that, which is ironic because she died by painkillers, and a third person who is heartbroken so he drinks. So you have all these people who feel completely alone, but they’re all alone together because they stay awake with these problems.”

The Guerilla Film Project is an annual filmmaking competition held at Pickford Film Center featuring high school students from across northwest Washington. Groups are allowed three to five members and are given less than three days to write, shoot, cut and edit a 3-minute film.

Contest officials awarded first place judge’s choice and audience choice awards to a team from Anacortes high school for their film titled “Somnolence.”

Project director Terri Krantz said this year’s contest featured 22 films from eight local high schools. Many of the teams had participated in prior years’ contest and have had a chance to continue developing their skills, she said.

“The kids’ filmmaking skills have improved, it’s really quite impressive,” Krantz said. “The films explored a lot of sophisticated subject matter in ways that were well executed.”

When asked about the shooting process, Tiechert said he recently enjoyed a full night’s sleep for the first time in 72 hours.
Overall, however, he said he was happy with the film’s reception. When the film finished, there was a moment of silence before the audience started clapping, he said.

“We went to Guerilla hoping we would leave an impact,” he said. “We didn’t ask for an award but we’re glad we got one because we made an impact with our audience. That makes it worth it.”

The group won $25, which they used to buy Starbuck’s vanilla bean creme drinks and “celebratory cheese fries.”
A public screening is scheduled for noon, March 12, at 1416 Cornwall Avenue.

 For more information, visit www.pickfordcinema.org/page/Guerilla-Film-Project.aspx.