Lights, ‘Zoom’ Camera, Action: Archer Film Festival adapted to virtual setting for second year


Photo credit: Digital Image by Jaqueline Marks

Archer’s 10th annual Film Festival took place on April 22 via Zoom. The festival was comprised of the three finalist films, keynote speakers and alumni appearances. “The girls put it together and I get to sit there on the night and watch and have a wonderful time with everyone else,” Steven Jacobson, Advisor to the Film Festival board said.

By Grace Doyle, Sports Editor

That’s a wrap. The 10th annual Archer Film Festival took place on Zoom for the second year in a row and featured winning films, Archer alumni and women from the film industry. On April 22, the Film Festival Leadership Board, composed of Archer students, put together the event featuring 640 student films from 66 countries around the globe.

During the event, the three prizewinning films were screened, including “Squeaky Clean” by Addison Lee and “Through Their Eyes” by Alisha Heng. Both received the Leadership Board prize. The Grand Jury Prize winner was given to “A Ship Called Lili: The Lillian Trilling Story” by students from The Righteous Conversations Project of Harvard Westlake Summer Film. 

Aligning with the Film Festival’s mission statement to empower “female filmmakers and others who are often overlooked in the industry”, keynote speakers Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, and Anna Heinrich(’03), head of production at Reprobates, presented alongside each other and were asked questions by seniors Francesca Cappello and Addison Lee.

“We were so thrilled to have Ms. Mayo and Ms. Heinrich share such a vast range of experience from production to music videos and diversifying the industry,” Lee said during the Festival. “It was such an exciting way to celebrate our 10th Festival as we learned so much from these two incredible leaders in film.”

Photo credit: Digital Image by Addison Lee


Adviser to the Film Festival Leadership Board, Steven Jacobson, noted the role of the keynote speakers. He highlighted the “waves” they made and how they have on the audience and the board. 

“We had some incredible young female role models who are making waves in the film industry,” Jacobson said. “I think that’s so important for our audience, for my film students and for the students in general in the Archer community.” 

Like the Festival last year, it had to be adapted to fit within an online space, so additions and changes were made to expand the event. 

“Yes, it’s about keynotes, and that’s really important, but it’s also about the films themselves,” Jacobson said.  “In addition to having the three films screened on the night, we also then had the next day to screen more films and tried to make the Festival a bit more of a closer equivalent to the live Festivals we used to have and that we hopefully will have again next year.” 

As the event was adapted to an online setting, Lee noted the impact the larger Archer community has on the Film Festival in terms of “support”.

“None of this would be possible without the amazing support we have from our community,” Lee said. 

Members of the Film Festival Leadership Board dedicated months of planning to the event going smoothly. Junior Olivia Jarvie has been a member of the board since she was a freshman and reflected on the hard work this Festival required especially through an online forum. 

“I am surrounded by and work with peers who are equally as passionate about film,” Jarvie said during the Festival. “To work so hard and see so much creativity in one place and have all of that hard work ultimately pay off, and create such an amazing event at the end of the year is just amazing.”