LS R-7 elementary students capture awards at Reel Spirit Student Film Festival

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

Students from nine Lee’s Summit R-7 elementary schools captured awards on April 8 at  Reel Spirit: Young Filmmaker Showcase – youth division of Kansas City FilmFest –, held at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza. The nine schools won a record number of film awards for the school district this year.  

Lindsey Shively, morning anchor at Channel 41 KSHB, and John Mertz, radio and TV personality, were the MCs at the showcases that morning.  Young filmmakers were given the “red carpet” treatment, had opportunities to interact with a special effects make-up artist, a caricature artist and dog trainer who has worked with animals on movie sets during the morning.

Students earning awards attend the following schools: Mason Elementary, Richardson Elementary, Hawthorn Hill Elementary, Prairie View Elementary, Underwood Elementary, Longview Farm Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Cedar Creek Elementary and Pleasant Lea Elementary.

Through the metro-area film competition, students in second grade through high school enter films into one of the following categories: narrative, commercial, public service announcement, news broadcast, animation, science-technology-engineering-math (STEM) or documentary. Students with films that place first, second or third are invited to the Reel Spirit Showcase where they watch their films on the big screen and receive Oscar-style trophies. At this special event, students dress up to walk the red carpet and be interviewed about their films.

“My Hawthorn Hill Elementary students loved participating in the Reel Spirit Film Festival!” said Lisa Cohen, teacher. “From coming up with the film idea, storyboarding, writing the script, filming and editing to finding out we had finished in the top three in our age division and category was an exhilarating experience. The students were all dressed up and looked amazing as they entered the Cinemark  Palace on the Plaza movie theater and walked the red carpet.”


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