Neuqua Valley High School students honored with two awards at film festival

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A group of film students from Neuqua Valley High School won two awards at the Halloween Student Silent Film Festival, held at the Tivoli Theatre on Oct. 18. 

Their silent film, “Hiding in Plain Sight,” won the awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema and the People’s Choice Award. 

Hiding in Plain Sight

The story follows a lonely ghost that no one sees, which becomes more problematic when the ghost falls in love with a girl and tries to find ways to communicate with her.  

“I wanted the audience to just be able to feel the emotions of the character, even if it’s under a ghost mask and there’s no dialogue. I still wanted them to see that character and feel every beat along with them and feel like they were really connected with the ghost,” said Jayden Adkins, writer and director of the film.

It’s an approach that is different from many in the Halloween genre.

“One of the many things I really like about this film is that they didn’t go down the normal cliche Halloween slasher type,” said John Gelsomino, the media production instructor.  “They kind of went a completely different direction and made this a very touching story.” 

The film was not a class project but an outside challenge that the group decided to take on with short notice and a four week deadline. 

“So we decided to really get down to business and get our schedules together and use every day that we were all available to shoot,” said Ani Avedoumian, the lead actor (Ghost) and producer. 

Neuqua Valley High School students win two awards

The students were thrilled to have their hard work pay off with the two awards.

“Being able to walk up on the stage was just a really cool experience and then walking up again for the other award, it was just a really great experience,” said Avedoumian.

“I did not move from my chair for probably a good 15 [or] 20 seconds after they announced it, because I was just frozen,” said Adkins.

Those interested can find out what happens to the lonely ghost by watching “Hiding in Plain Sight” on NeuquaMedia’s YouTube channel. 

“I think now that I’ve taken a step back, I’m insanely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and just really happy with what it ended up turning out to be,” said Adkins. 

Photos and video courtesy of: 

“Hiding in Plain Sight” – Neuqua Valley High School

Student Silent Film Festival – LLTVonline

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