For filmmakers, this is the most wonderful time of the year; and the most stressful!

Here on the east coast, the weather may be starting to chill down, but the cameras are heating up. It is time to synthesize your ideas and collaborate with fellow students to strive for the ultimate goal – to win a prestigious film award. Just like the start of football season, the film festival season is back. Are you ready?

Young filmmakers are always looking for ways to challenge themselves and showcase their work. Major films fests such as Cannes, South by Southwest, and Sundance might FilmArticle-400be a long stretch, but here in Maryland, there are many local opportunities. Film festivals such as the Chesapeake Film Festival, Maryland International Film Festival, and Frederick’s 72 Hour Film Festival have been exploding with excitement and competition. They provide the perfect platform for film students to display their work and increase their skills.

Living in Frederick, a city near Baltimore, MD and D.C., I have experienced the exuberance of the 72 Hour Film Festival. The 72 Hour Film Festival takes place over three days. On day one you get a topic. You then have 72 hours to create a film incorporating everything from pre-production to post-production. Anyone can enter; it is divided into a professional film competition and amateur film competition. Every year this film festival increases with teams. From a student’s perspective, this is a daring and exciting challenge. After film submission, competitors and film viewers gather for viewing. The Friday after the competition all entries are showcased. This opportunity lets you see other people’s ideas, professional and amateur; sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. This film contest is intriguing for all filmmakers.

This year was my second year participating in Frederick’s 72. Needing a writer, Nate Superczynski and Spencer Weaver, invited me to join their team called The Average Society. Being a part of a new team, I knew this experience would be different from last year. During the process it was fun to write the script, share ideas, and use of teamwork. Opening night I was unable to attend due to a family obligation, but that night Spencer texted me and said “we are in the top 10”. I was so excited for our team, we worked hard, divided up the work, and supported each other through the whole 72 hours. The second night I was able to attend the fest and watch all the finalist films. It was amazing to see the creativity through all the teams, professional, amateur, and student. During the awards our film got announced as “Best Student Film”. Nate, Spencer, and I were excited to have won and knew our hard work paid off. We walked up on stage received our trophy and certificate. We also won a Rode brand microphone and entered into Hagerstown International Film Festival, along with two admission tickets. This experience will always be memorable to me, it is amazing how Nate, Spencer, and I came together for only knowing them for a couple weeks.

11380894 371992579662443 42512815 nGabriella Punturiero is a senior at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center. She is starting her 3 year in TV/Multimedia Production and is focusing on directing and writing. Gabriella also is attending Frederick Community College to help expand her skill set. Gabriella is also an avid Lacrosse player and would like to continue playing in college along with following her passion for Video Production.

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