Each year the always incredible Allison Koehler, our dynamic Director of Education, offers the unique opportunity to students throughout our community to submit competing reviews of a few of our outstanding youthFEST films. This year's winners of our Classroom Critics competition follow. The first two reviews have been published in The Observer. The following pair will see publication next week. Congratulations to all the winners!
A SHADOW OF BLUE
Saint Stephen's Episcopal School
A gaunt little girl sits on a park bench and allows her imagination to wander. Director Carlos Lascano brings together emotional music and characters in an adventurous story. A Shadow of Blue is a touching story full of adventure.
A little girl fills her time on a park bench creating a majestic blue paper butterfly. The butterfly comes to life, along with the girl's shadow. She imagines enthralling adventures with her shadow in the lead. There are suspenseful twists as her shadow skips and jumps, reaching for the butterfly. A nasty crow acts as an antagonist and plots to scare the little girl away. The actions are expressive and the music adds eerie suspense. Everything is not as it seems as the plot develops.
Since there is no dialogue, the actions are clear and expressive. The actions are dramatic and the little girl's leaps and jumps are expressed through flailing arms; crying with the heaves of the little girl's shoulders. Even in shadow, actions are clear and precise. The antagonist plays its part as a crow, attempting to make it impossible for the little girl to catch the butterfly. Its expressive crowing adds to its menacing appearance.
The music and the creative angles give the story another dimension. The music adds emotion with a twirly, tinkly song in happy scenes and eerie music in the scenes of suspense. Without the music, Lascano couldn't have portrayed emotions in shadow.
Lascano brings together great music and emotional characters to create a short film full of imagination. With twists and turns, the imagination of a little girl brings together happiness and sadness in an adventure worth taking. So come along and take the adventure in A Shadow of Blue.
Booker Middle School
The Shadow of Blue is like a kiss from heaven. This short film by Carlos Lascano can touch the children of the world to still push, and believe that disabled or not, you can still reach the sky.
The film is about a girl who uses her imagination to create an adventure through the forest without leaving her feet. She moves only by her shadow with her butterfly leading her. To see that there is faith for her if she is disabled makes her life meaningful for her and kids all over the world.
This is my impression of A Shadow of Blue, a loving story of a girl with hope and a blue light still in her heart.
Even the best people have the worst days. In Olga, a short film that is cute and full of meaning, Hilke Mayer and Kai Pannen portray a story about alienation, depression, and how people who are depressed are not alone.
The film tells the story of an energetic, fun-loving pig named Olga, who normally loves to be around her friends and have fun, but every so often feels a little depressed and lonely. This depression is embodied by a grey howling in her stomach that causes Olga to act differently, almost like a whole different person. In the end, Olga sees her friend Ben the dog, who notices that something is wrong with Olga. She tells him about the grey feeling and she finds she is not alone. Ben, who has also had this grey feeling of depression, reminds Olga that everyone has those days. By the end of the film, Ben shows Olga the "cure" which is a big hug. When Ben hugs Olga the grey feeling turns red and Olga turns back into her normal fun-loving self.
The film is designed to be a children's cartoon portraying real-world problems. Children will love the animated characters such as Olga the pig and Ben the dog. Although ti is a good movie for children, it should be seen with older children who can read well since the film is in German with English subtitles.
Overall I think the 8-minute film was great for older children and adults. It portrays real-world problems like alienation and depression in a kid-friendly cartoon.
Sarasota School of Arts & Science
The film that I watched was Olga, by Kai Panner. Olga and Ben were the main characters. This short film was great! The message being portrayed in this film was clear and the illustrator did a fantastic job.
This film started with Olga out with her friends and having a great time, until this bad feeling in her stomach comes about. When Olga wakes up the next morning, the bad feeling in her stomach is still there. When she goes for a walk, she meets her friend Ben. Ben told Olga about when he had that same bad feeling. While Ben and Olga were talking, Olga had noticed that the bad feeling went away. The moral was: when you're down, go hang out with someone and talk about it, instead of being along and staying upset about it!
The personality fit the animals the directors chose to represent. The best scene was when Ben helped Olga feel better by being there for her as a friend, having someone to talk to, and showing how much he cared about what she had to say. To have a friend, you have to be a friend.
The music played along to show how good the mood was in the film. When Olga was having a good time, and when she was happy, the music was upbeat. But, when the feeling of being alone and sad came into the film, the music slowed down and had lower tones.
Olga was a great short film! My final opinion on the film was that it was wonderful. The illustrations were superb, and the moral behind it was something that everyone can relate to!