The Connecticut Student Innovation EXPO has always been a bittersweet experience for Hawk Productions over the past several years. As highly regarded filmmakers in the Connecticut Student Film Festival, they are always trying to not only maintain, but also improve their award-winning status. The young filmmakers have found little success in their production of documentary submissions at the EXPO; however, they appear to be stepping up their game this time around.
According to http://innovationexpo.skills21.org/about/ “The Student Innovation Expo is an annual highlight for Skills21 at EDUCATION CONNECTION and affiliated organizations. This event is the culminating experience for Connecticut middle and high school students engaged in innovative, cutting-edge STEM education.”
Program Director Ralph Riello touches on the concept of the EXPO and what it teaches his students.
“The EXPO is designed to put students in a real world business atmosphere where they have to communicate information and receive information to and from peers and adults,” said Riello.
After several years of participating in the EXPO, Riello intends to move away from the program in the following years and focus on producing more local content.
“Now that we’ve been involved in the program for a long time, I feel like we as a program have grown so much. There’s enough content in Region 16 that I think it’s time our students start focusing our efforts on communicating the great things that are going on to the community at large,” said Riello.
Woodland’s DM3 program is responsible for the production of a 5-minute documentary capturing the yearly changing theme of the EXPO. This year’s theme is called “Empathy by Design” and for Senior and Team Leader Katya Agamy, the concept of the documentary came to her instantly.
“Immediately I thought of the growing issue of homelessness in America.” Agamy said. “I’ve grown up working with a lot of homeless people and their issues through my parents, so it just made sense to me.”
This will be the last big production for the DM3 seniors as the curriculum rapidly comes to a close. Agamy expressed how she felt about leading her peers in the final chapters of their Hawk Production careers.
“We have a lot of people who excel in many different areas which make it easy to form a coherent team,” said Agamy. “I think we will definitely produce a great project that will look good, have good information, and also make people re-evaluate their views on homelessness and what they can do to help.”
Hawk Productions has finished shooting and is transitioning into their final stage of post-production. The students will be working hard to finish editing their documentary in time for their April 20th deadline. The Connecticut Student Innovation EXPO will take place May 14th at the Oakdale Theatre.