Students Again Win Award In Toronto Film Contest

The poster for the students’ 50-Hour film, Knock Knock, is pictured. Submitted Photos
The poster for the students’ 50-Hour film, Knock Knock, is pictured. Submitted Photos

BERLIN – Worcester Preparatory School (WPS) technology teacher Nancy Raskauskas and a group of 11th graders from her film class have once again received an award for their short film entry in the Toronto 50-Hour Film Competition.

The film, titled Knock Knock, won Honorable Mention for “Best Audience Reaction.” Going by the name Aevus Media, the 11 members of the film’s cast and crew include WPS juniors Alex Abbott, Riley Dickerson, Amy Lizas, Davis Mears, Paul Townsend, Allie Van Orden, Thomas Polk, Clare Riley, Jonathan Ruddo, Jordan Welch, Zachary Wilson and Raskauskas. This is the fourth annual Genre Film Fest sponsored by the Lost Episode Festival Toronto (LEFT). Winning films are screened at Lost Episode Festival Toronto. To view the film, visit the Aevus Media YouTube Channel.

All participating teams received an email at 7 p.m. on Friday night, Dec. 4, stating the requirements of the contest including a character, a prop and a line that had to be used in the short film. Once they received the rules, they had to spontaneously plan, script, film, direct, score, edit and produce a genre horror video in just 50 hours. The edited film could be no longer than seven minutes and had to be completed and uploaded for entry by 9 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6. After two cold nights of marathon filming, the sleep deprived crew met at WPS on Sunday to score and edit their final product.

Pictured with technology teacher Nancy Raskauskas are high school film makers, front, Paul Townsend and Riley Dickerson; and back, Amy Lizas, Davis Mears, Zachary Wilson, Jonathan Ruddo, Clare Riley, Thomas Polk, Alex 	Abbott, Jordan Welch and Allie Van Orden.

Pictured with technology teacher Nancy Raskauskas are high school film makers, front, Paul Townsend and Riley Dickerson; and back, Amy Lizas, Davis Mears, Zachary Wilson, Jonathan Ruddo, Clare Riley, Thomas Polk, Alex Abbott, Jordan Welch and Allie Van Orden.

Every film they make, the students improve their skills, hone their craft, and gain self-confidence with every contest they enter. This time they completed and uploaded Knock Knock to the contest site by 4 p.m., five hours before the deadline.

Last July, the team’s first film attempt, Little Time, production went down to the wire, entering just minutes before the deadline. Little Time won an award for “Best Use of the Dialog Line” and was chosen for screening at the festival. The team was also honored for their fine use of special effects used in such a short window of time to produce a film.

Now with two award winning films under their belts, Aevus Media plans to create films to enter a 48 Hour Film Contest in March, a Baltimore City Student Film Contest and a Baltimore Friend’s School Film Contest in May and another 50-Hour Contest in July.

Raskauskas has taught digital media for more than 20 years at WPS. Many of her past students have won film awards and have gone on to work in the film industry.

The Lost Episode Festival Toronto (LEFT) is an artist-run film festival in Toronto, Canada. They are a not-for-profit cultural organization, founded in 2012, by veterans of the arts and film industry as Canada’s First Fan Film Festival. They offer theatrical screenings of independent films produced both locally and internationally by talented and creative artists.