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Next Generation Storytellers presents awards

Excitement was in the air as the short films which were written, directed, and produced by students from each of the four Hampton high schools debuted at the American Theatre in Phoebus during the weekend of September 29 through October 1. Over the past few months, Hampton City Schools (HCS) high school students have worked alongside Hollywood actors, producers, directors, and other cast and crew to write, act, and produce high-quality short films as a part of Next Generation Storytellers.

Next Generation Storytellers is led by screen actors Jacob Young (two-time Emmy award-winner known for The Girl Next Door, The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, and All My Children) and Trent Garrett (known for Disney’s Andi Mack, Netflix’s Army of Thieves, and Fox’s New Girl). Also supporting the Hollywood to Hampton experience and film festival are two-time Emmy award winning director of photography Roy Wagner; assistant director for Midsommar, Mercedes Williamson; associate producer of the Broadway hit Beauty and the Beast, Mark Rozzano; and special effects production designer Mick Strawn, known for his work on productions such as Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and the 1994 Fantastic Four. 

The four films that were premiered were Click (Kecoughtan High School), Fear the Fog (Bethel High School), Sandcastles (Hampton High School), and Truth of Lies (Phoebus High School).

The red-carpet event held on Saturday, September 30, included awards for best film as well as other categories. The awards were presented by HCS administrators (including Superintendent Dr. Raymond Haynes), School Board members, a City Council member, and actors Garrett and Young. The winners are as follows:

Best Picture – Click

Best Picture Audience Choice – Fear The Fog

Best Original Screenplay – Riley Brooker (Click)

Best Actor – Madison Newton (Click) and V’nya Strachon (Truth of Lies)

Best Director – Jonathan Aspin (Click)

Best Supporting Actor – Canary Williams (Fear the Fog), Christopher O’Keefe (Click), and Sophia Harris (Click)

Best Staff or Community Member in a Support Role – Greg Garrett (Click)

School Participation – Truth of Lies

HCS Portrait of a Graduate – Sandcastles

Visit Hampton! – Fear The Fog

Young Voices – Sandcastles

Originally only the film chosen as best picture was invited to the Virginia Film Festival in October in Charlottesville, VA. However, Garrett and Young announced that all four films have been invited to participate in the festival.

This program is supported by the Virginia Film Commission and sponsored by Sony Red and Black Magic, among others.

Click here to check out the Next Generation Storyteller’s Trailer.