District 214 Students Await Red Carpet at Film Dreamers’ Festival


Charlie Dahlgren, Managing Editor

Stories will collide at Prospect High School’s Film Dreamers’ Festival this Friday, Nov. 8. For the second year, everyone is invited to the Kulieke Theater at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate the work of many passionate and hardworking students. Organizers of this event, including Prospect senior Cesar Toscano and freelance filmmaker Quin Kyp-Johnson, have the goal of giving young filmmakers a platform to share their work and openly “nerd out” over what they love most.

“It’s just a really good first step and practice into the real world,” Kyp-Johnson said. “Putting something out there, accepting criticism, being in public, talking about your film in public. I’m just proud that everyone gets this first little baby step.”

Although it’s only the second time Prospect will be hosting the festival, small changes, including updated awards, a red carpet, professional film making judges, and even hand-held confetti cannons, will elevate this year’s show to new levels.

The night will begin with a quick introduction by the host. They will quickly discuss the mission of the Film Dreamers’ Festival and introduce the judges. Following that, each of the 10 entries, all of which are under 7 minutes long, will be shown. After a quick intermission, the audience will vote for their favorite film and the judges will handle the other 12 awards, including best actor/actress, best picture, and Toscano’s Phoenix award, which goes to the film that best depicts humanity.

Finally, the night concludes with the confetti filled awards ceremony where elaborate Oscar style statues are gifted to the winners. The statues, which were redesigned this year, feature many filmmaking related elements that were themed after The Film Dreamers’ Festival’s poster.

In hopes of bringing home an award, students in Prospect’s Film Club are finalizing their various entries. Some participants even hosted a celebratory pizza party to talk over plans and watch some of last year’s entries. The Film Club, which consists of a diverse group of young filmmakers, acts as more of a community than anything else. Film Club’s members are constantly working on different personal projects, so Film Club turns into a place to meet and talk about what they love most.

Kyp-Johnson started Film Club in 2012 after finding herself obsessed with film making after just one class in high school.

“It was the throw away class that seniors took to sleep during school,” Kyp-Johnson said. “It was purely watching movies and critiquing them… and I went into film school after that. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”

After gaining experience in art school, Kyp-Johnson returned to Prospect (where her father Jay Kyp-Johnson works) in the hopes of sharing her passion with students before they dive headfirst into the challenging world of filmmaking.

In the end, both head organizers, Toscano and Kyp-Johnson, share the same goals for both audience members and filmmakers who participate in The Dreamers’ Film Festival. They hope everyone enjoys themselves and that the young filmmakers feel that their work is genuinely appreciated.

“When you’re there it’s just exciting,” Toscano said. “You created something and people are actually enjoying all these films, you’re bringing all these people and their work together… Everyone gets that attention… That spotlight.”