Island Students Produce "In The Cards" For This Week's Nantucket Film Festival

JohnCarl McGrady •

KEY scaled

Teen View, the long-running youth filmmaking class, is back with a new format. The educational program, which gives island students the chance to make short films screened at the Nantucket Film Festival (NFF), has historically produced one film per student. This year, the students collaborated to make a single film, “In The Cards.”

“As a filmmaker, I learned quickly that filmmaking was a collaborative process,” said Stephanie Serra, who ran the program on behalf of Nantucket Community Television. “I wanted to bring this new experience to the teens of Nantucket to give them a better idea of movie culture.”

“At first I was a little hesitant because I have been making an independent film every year, but I ended up really liking it, and I think the way she structured the program was really beneficial,” said Nantucket High School senior Anna Popnikolova, who has been participating in the program for four years. “I felt like I got a lot out of it.”

The teens were responsible for writing, filming, and editing the short, which will be screened as a part of NFF’s Views From Nantucket short film feature showcase at 10:30 a.m. on June 19th in the Dreamland’s studio theater. Through Teen View, students can learn from professionals in film and television and get experience with high-quality equipment. The new format allowed the process to be more professional than ever before. Popnikolova said that the students did location scouting, prepared blocking, made callsheets, and used an actual slate. They even worked with a costume designer to hone the look of each character. Much of this was new to the program, bringing it closer to the experience of working on a film set.

“It was so cool,” she said. “[Serra] organized it in a way where we felt like we were on an actual film set and the way we were shooting felt very professional. It's nice to be in an environment where everyone is taking it seriously.”

“It also helped elevate accountability and wanting to be a team and work together,” Serra said. “Instead of putting the title of the film and the director and the cinematographer on the slate it was ‘teamwork makes the dream work,’ so that was really our motto.”

"In The Cards" follows a grieving group of teenagers who, facing an imminent apocalypse, choose to spend their final night together playing a roleplaying game. The film was collectively directed by all of the students in the program and they are also starring in it. For one climactic scene, the program’s assistant director, acclaimed actor Sarah Fraunfelder, helped the students work on their emotional acting skills.

“I never thought I’d be able to cry on command, but I did,” Popnikolova said. “I think it’s going to be one of the best Teen View films ever.”

With a 15-minute runtime, it is also longer than previous Teen View films, another benefit of the group working together. Several past participants in Teen View have gone on to study film in college and even work in related fields professionally, and Serra hopes some of this year’s participants may follow in their footsteps.

“I think Teen View is a program that gives teens of the island the opportunity to test out the medium,” Serra said. “I hope that everyone makes movies because everyone has something to say.”

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current News