Alumna Savannah Henry, along with the team of senior TV broadcasting majors Jacqueline Hall and Florencia Schinoff, and 2018 alumnae Andrea Leiva and Tina Sanchez, have won a Western Access Video Excellence award for their dramatic short film, “AVA.”
In addition, Tre Pogue, senior TV broadcast major, Nathan Keeler, junior TV broadcast major, and Jessica Bi, senior TV broadcast major, placed as finalists for their “Phone Zombie” PSA in the WAVE awards in the Public Service Announcement category. TV broadcast majors Giuliana Gutierrrez, Samantha Morales, Alexis Moya, Jacqueline Hall and Daisy Perez, with alumni Edward Romero and Leiva, placed as finalists for their “Spotlight” video, in the Magazine Show category in the WAVE contest.
After working on her script for several months, Henry and her team brought “AVA” to life for their senior project in spring 2018. Henry wrote and directed the dystopian thriller about a man named Evans and his daughter, Ava. The small family lives in the future, where talking was forbidden because words come at such a high cost.
“In the end it kind of comes full circle, analyzing the true meaning of life and love, and the purpose behind communicating and why we have voices, and the importance of speaking your truth,” Henry said.
“I thought it was so great working with an all women crew, it was just really nice to see what we were all capable of doing,” Sanchez said.
Producing the film proved difficult because they faced complications, especially financial barriers, they said.
To help fund the ambitions film, Henry started a GoFundMe page. Schinoff said that they had to get creative with how they could digitally tell the story.
“It was kind of just us picturing how (‘AVA’s’) world would be and trying to find the right things and messing with props and locations to make it seem as futuristic as it was,” she said.
Pogue directed the PSA “Phone Zombie,” which was shot by Bi and edited by Keeler.
Pogue said he found the inspiration for the short film after learning that Pomona created a law that makes crossing the street while looking at your phone illegal. The PSA aimed to bring attention to the dangers of using one’s phone while crossing the street.
Morgan Sandler, assistant professor of digital film production and faculty adviser for “AVA,” said he was proud of the students.
“The quality of these projects really represents a bright future for the La Verne film program.” Sandler said.
The WAVE awards are hosted by the Alliance for Community Media, a national organization of television and radio stations that promote freedom of speech and greater community engagement through media.
Christine Insigne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.