Manitou Students Create Documentaries in Film Academy

Sita Ahlen, Senior Reporter

On Tuesday, October 20, at 6:30pm at the Fine Arts Center, the Youth Documentary Academy (YDA) will be showing twelve short films done by students in the Colorado Springs area. Among these 12 films are three directed by Manitou students, Mia Elliot (12), Marley Kaiser (11) and Scott Larwood (10).

There is no entrance fee, but a donation of $12 for adults, and $3 for kids is suggested.

Youth Documentary Academy is paired with the Bemis School of Art and the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute. A documentary will be chosen to show at the Women’s Film Festival in mid-November.

The academy these students attended was a seven week program, with meetings approximately three to four times a week.

YDA had 30/40 Colorado students apply, with only twelve students accepted.

The Manitou students were split up into groups of kids from other schools, and put in groups of three or four.

Each student made their own five to ten minute documentaries and helped out, most likely filming, in other students projects.

Each made their own documentaries and then helped out with other groups as well.
“We all worked together but in the end we all still came out with our own product,” said Mia.

It is rumored that film critics will be watching the films on the 20th, and will choose a number of the students to go to Boulder.

“They [YDA] basically said make a film that’s really personal or has an effect on you in some way.” Larwood (10) explained.

Elliot showed Wendy Harms a copy of information on YDA, and Harms pushed it along to Larwood as well. “Wendy was like ‘Oh yes you’re applying'” Elliot says.

“My film is about sexual harassment,” Elliot’s film visits harassment in the workplace and on the streets, also focusing on race fetishes.

Fatherland: Why Are We Here. Scott Larwood focuses on his move from England to America, and the struggle the move includes.

In Water. Marley Kaiser directs a film on his interest, swimming. “My film is based around a poem I wrote about my life as a competitive swimmer, and that poem is taken apart to the bones of what my life is really about, all complimented by my swimming.”