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Schools fall short at first UIL film contest

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

Young filmmakers from the area didn’t bring home top honors from the first UIL film contest this week but they did produce work their communities can be proud of for years to come.

Films from Argyle and Sanger high schools were screened as state finalists in the University Interscholastic League’s first Young Filmmakers Festival but fell short of taking home top honors in their respective categories.

Stacy Short, adviser to Argyle High School students who produced the 7-minute documentary film Destiny: A Game for the Ages, said her students worked hard and put hundreds of hours into the project. The film captured Argyle High’s journey to the Class 3A Division II state football championship and the challenges faced along the way.

“I don’t feel like it was wasted because they learned a lot from it, and it is something that people came to love and enjoy,” Short said of her students’ work. “It’s something that will not be wasted but something the community will have for a long time.”

Argyle High junior Matt Garnett, the film’s director, said he never expected the film would place anything lower than in the top three. He said he doesn’t understand why the film didn’t fare as well as he had expected.

“I’m definitely unhappy with our results,” Garnett said. “It’s hard for me to understand why we’re not in the top three with the product that we put together.”

Finishing first, second and third, respectively, in the Division I documentary category were Salado, Van and Lampasas high schools. Other competitors included Lytle and Princeton high schools.

Students from Sanger High produced a short animated film, GOAL!, a minute-and-a-half production about the formation of a clay creature named Murphy and a bout of soccer. The film was directed by senior Tyler Sanders and edited by junior Hunter Bennett with junior Collins Jones as camera operator.

The students involved with GOAL! and Juliana Musgrave, their audio/video production teacher, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Finishing first, second and third, respectively, in the Division I animation category were Shepherd, Lampasas and Groesbeck high schools. Other competitors included Princeton and Boerne high schools.

The Argyle High film earned superior ratings from judges in the previous round and “nothing but positive feedback,” Short said. She said she felt the work presented by her students was more uplifting than others and that the film’s competition wasn’t as developed as Argyle’s film.

“I thought ours was awesome, phenomenal, technically. I thought we were spot-on,” Short said. “I was disappointed that we didn’t get in the top three. I felt we should have.”

Other Argyle High students who participated in the project in various capacities included Darby Richhart, Tanner Davenport, Maddie Moseley, Jeff Short, Catherine Read, Aubrey Kass, Annabel Thorpe, Josh Block, Maggie DiVecchia, Allie Hommel, Mark Pfohl and Chase Kammerer.

The Young Filmmakers Festival is a UIL pilot program that included two divisions of original narrative, documentary and animation films produced by high school filmmakers. On Wednesday, the 37 films selected state finalists were screened at Paramount Theatre in Austin.

Judges’ comments on the films screened were unavailable Thursday, according to a UIL official.

To view all the films screened for the state finals and to see how the films fared, visit

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.