IndieReels debuts as first festival for high school filmmakers in the Southeast

January 08, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Columbia, SC: The Southeast’s first competition and festival just for high school filmmakers will take place in Columbia on April 21, 2007. Presented by Richland Northeast High School, IndieReels will feature student works in six categories: documentary, comedy, drama, animation/new media, Podcast, and public service announcement.

“Ten years ago, there weren’t any iPods, video equipment cost a fortune, and if you used the word ‘Indie’ people assumed you were talking about a car race,” said Ralph Schmidt, principal of Richland Northeast High School. “But for most of today’s students, digital smarts seem bred in the bone. In the 21st century, media literacy is quickly becoming as essential as mastery of traditional academic subjects. IndieReels is a way to build on student interest, encourage student initiative, and further the use of media as an auxiliary to education.”

Student filmmakers currently in grades nine through twelve and residing in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are invited to enter. Applications must be postmarked by February 15, 2007. Only the first 120 entries can be accepted. Finalists in each category will be screened at the IndieReels Festival, at which time the winners — one in each category — will be announced. More information is available online on the IndieReels Webpage,

The winning film in each category in the IndieReels Festival will be shown during Columbia's Stanley Donen Film Festival (May 31 – June 2), which will highlight work by professional and amateur filmmakers from across the Southeast through the IndieGrits Film Competition, Toaster Film Festival, Main Street Film Crawl, and other screenings. “We are delighted to highlight work by high school students, the next generation who will raise media arts and media literacy to the next level,” said Larry Hembree, executive director of the Columbia Film Society.

“When I saw how many of our students were making Pod casts and videos — and taking digital technology seriously as an art medium — it became clear that a high school film competition was a logical project for us,” said Nancy Underwood, IndieReels artistic director and RNE film/visual arts teacher.

For further information, send an e-mail to or call (803) 699-2800 ext. 2782.