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.
The title, or lack thereof I should say, of Chad Werner’s winning selection to the Heartland High School Film Competition, speaks volumes in fact. Chad paints a picture of a world in which all communication is made entirely via technology. Sadly enough, this “alternate” reality is not too far off from how we as a society truly depend on technology to get us through our day. Of course the film acts as more of a social commentary than anything else, but it’s a potent one at that. The lead girl struggles to find her voice amidst a sea of vapid stares and the digital clicking of thumbs against tiny keypads. The intense silence exhibited in the film is ironically deafening. You can literally feel the tension mounting as the film progresses. The climax of which finds the lead girl exhibiting the courage to finally break her silence. A truly powerful film with an even more powerful message.
|Chad Werner has a passion for movies and currently attend film school at UT Austin. He enjoys playing the banjo, flying kites, and writing short biographies on himself. “(___)” also won the Texas High School Shorts Jury Award at the 2011 SXSW film festival.|
Soap – Jon Sheets
More so than any other film in our competition, Soap is an integral part of director Jon Sheets’ personal life. The courage exhibited by the main character is paralleled with the courage the filmmaker must muster day to day. As a young man dealing with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Jon knows firsthand the struggles that are inherent with the disease. Soap starts off lighthearted enough, but it’s quickly realized that not all is as it seems. What appears to be an innocent first date is quickly derailed by the main character’s inability to leave the bathroom due to his OCD. Of course, all the fear and insecurity that mounts is solely in his head. When in reality, his date is none the wiser of his disorder. It’s a fun and quirky short which ironically conveys a serious undertone.
|Jon Sheets attended the Porter County Career Center in Valparaiso, Indiana during high school. He now attends Ball State University for Telecommunications but would like to go into the music industry for performance. He has dealt with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which makes his film “Soap” closer to non-fiction than fiction to him.|