Picture Perfect: student film garners attention

Picture Perfect: student film garners attention

Tej Joshi

Seniors Maria Samper and Doga Tasdemir were invited to the U.S. French Embassy Nov. 12 to celebrate the TIVA-DC Peer Awards, which highlights outstanding works in media by multiple DC-based creators—including their short film “The World I Want to Live.”
Samper and Tasdemir have both were interested in photography in middle school, and then their interests gradually transitioned into film. The two are active members and on the board of the Tryka Film Coalition, which is a group in Bethesda where film lovers can engage in discussions and create their own movies. It was from this group that the two got the idea to enter in the TIVA festival. “One of our friends had entered and won the year before, and he urged us to enter, and we did,” Tasdemir said.
The short film was framed around a short poem that Samper and Tasdemir wrote that was centered on the concept of the American Dream. “We wanted to have the message of the poem, and have images that contrasted or correlated with the poem… to have the open question at the end of what is American Dream and what is the world you want to live in?” Samper said.
Originally the film they created was intended for the White House Festival. When they began making it, the two only had around a week to create the film before the submission deadline. After shooting the footage for the film, they discovered something went wrong with the memory card. However, after the two reshot the film, Samper worked on her computer for six hours, three days in a row to complete the film and submit it to both the White House Festival and the TIVA Peer Awards.
TIVA-DC stands for the Television, Internet, and Video Association of D.C. Inc., and is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing opportunities for members of the media from D.C.. The Peer Awards sent the two of them an invitation to the event and also revealed they were finalists in award categories.
The two of them went to the French Embassy for the black-tie event and got the opportunity to hand out a few business cards. They learned that they were nominated for two categories: the Peer Promise High School award, and the 2016 Best in DC award.
For the Peer Promise High School award, TIVA-DC hands out gold, silver, and bronze trophies. When they announced the awards, they called bronze first and then silver. “We were [wondering] did we not make it? Because we just got an email saying we are finalists,” Tasdemir said.
“The World I Want to Live,” however, went on to win the gold trophy. “I was shaking, I was hugging Doga, it was very exciting,” Samper said.
While they did not win the 2016 Best in D.C. award, it is very rare for high school students to even be nominated for the category, and they were the second ever to be in that category. They were also grouped with other works of media that had a $25,000 budget.
The two will be hosting a meeting Dec. 2 to talk about their experience.

 

Sarah Fagan

Front Page Editor