Jul 28, 2014
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Student Wins Top Honors at Film Festival

Simsbury student wins "Best Animation Film" at third annual Tunxis Community College Short Film Festival

Student Wins Top Honors at Film Festival


Submitted release

A Simsbury High School student won top honors at a local film festival for a short animated film she produced.

Samantha Dowd, enrolled in the Digital Video Production course in the Technology & Engineering Department, won “Best Animation Film” for her short film Jack’s Story at the Tunxis Community College Third Annual Short Film Festival held on April 20th, 2012.

Jack’s Story is an animated film that consists of still images combined to create a stop motion film. The main character, Jack, is a clay figurine modeled and created by Samantha’s brother, Jake Dowd, during a hot summer day. Samantha and her mother liked Jack so much that they wanted to preserve him. They made a plan to make him indestructible, and that is how the story of Jack evolved.

In the story, Jake engages in three dangerous activities: rock climbing, cliff jumping, and flying. Jack experiences failure throughout the story, but because he is indestructible, he gets back up and continues on to another adventure. 

“Samantha portrayed a character that has the determination to pick back up, even after he falls," Samantha’s teacher, Mark Harutunian said. "She wants to send a message to other kids that it is ok to fall sometimes, and that if you do fall then to pick yourself back up and continue to have fun in life like Jack.”

According to Samantha, Jack is “not exactly the prettiest or the most perfect guy there is, but you learn to love him through how he loves to have fun and his ability to smile even after a fall.”

The film festival is sponsored and held by the TCC Media Club in Farmington. According to the TCC Media Club, the film festival is “intended to be more an embracing of creativity rather than a competition filled with numerous regulations and red tape.” The competition is open to all Connecticut filmmakers and video artists to show off their work and to network with other whom also share their passion.

A video clip of Samantha’s award-winning short film will be posted on the Simsbury Public Schools website at http://www.simsbury.k12.ct.us under “News & Events” as soon as it is released.

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