High School Film Competition Official Selections: One Small Step & Independence In Sight  

This post is one in a series of posts highlighting our High School Film Competition winners and official selections. Heartland Institute intern Patrick Mitchell introduces us to each filmmaker and gives a sneak peek of what to expect when these films premiere at the 2011 Heartland Film Festival Friday, October 14.

One Small Step – Nick Heighway

Nick Heighway brought to us what stands to be one of the most technically sound contributions in our Heartland High School Film Competition. Both visually stunning and thoroughly compelling, One Small Step is a period piece that takes a look back at the tragic Challenger launch through the eyes of Tim, an aspiring astronaut. His big dreams of space travel are ultimately stunted by his small town surroundings. Tim’s parents and friends put pressure on him to pursue college in the wake of the Challenger explosion, but Tim is still headstrong in his ambitions to be an astronaut. Speaking strictly from a technical perspective, the film makes great use of foreshadowing through the use of editing techniques and flashforward sequences. The film’s excellent production quality is second only to it’s message of courage and determination, especially in the face of adversity. Of course “courage” is our theme for this year’s competition, and One Small Step fully meets the criteria of the 2011 theme. Nick’s vision is incredibly potent, especially for those of whom have ever faced a crossroads in their life where idealistic passions were met with realistic concerns.

This is Nick Heighway’s second year in Heartland. A senior at Lawrence North High School, he has twice participated in the 48 Hour Film Project. He interned in L.A. with Union Editorial. He wants to be a professional film director.

Nick Heighway

Independence in Sight – Lauren Lindberg

We are honored to present to you one of only three documentaries selected for our High School Film Competition. Lauren Lindberg’s Independence in Sight takes a look at the trials and tribulations of a group of visually impaired young people as they strive to achieve more independence. The Hatlen Center is a residential transition program for the blind and visually impaired and the primary focus of the film. The instant connection felt between the kids as they interact in their new environment is truly heartwarming. The interviews are an insightful look at an ability most people take for granted. The courage exhibited by these young people to seek independence despite a disability that most would find to be a terrifying experience is incredibly inspiring. The residents of The Hatlen Center face real life problems in a controlled environment in order to take step towards living on their own. The film begins and ends on the same note, a blacked out screen with a voiceover which serves as a means of meaningful perspective for the viewer.

Lauren Lindberg is a 17-year old Senior at Monte Vista High School in Danville, CA. She is an avid cheerleader and documentary filmmaker. She will attend Chapman University in the Fall to pursue her filmmaking interests.

Lauren Lindberg