Words: Julia Stitely
On April 26, the fifteenth annual Howard County Film Festival was held at Miller Branch Library, highlighting students in the area who made their own original films. Over 35 films from 12 schools were submitted to the festival, seven of which were made by Centennial students.
Centennial submissions included: Alone (Dominic Cangialosi), Always With You (Robert Silverstein, Hanna Knight, Seth Crumley, Cole Lashley, Catherine Carlson-Estes), Dreams (Carolin Harvey, Jessie McCarthy, Simone Sabnis), Hey, It’s Me! (Wabii Doti), Parking Purgatory (Sasha Allen, Carolin Harvey, Julia Stitely, Diego Montemayor), Selling Out (Gabe Cabonilas, Nick Baker, Carolin Harvey, Wabii Doti, LeeAnn Fiawoo), and Tubular Psychology-Operant Conditioning (Nick Baker, Hanna Knight, Kieran Newell).
The film that took first place was the only horror entry, Always with You.
Robert Silverstein, a senior and the film’s director, said, “The idea actually started as an action film with the main character being chased into a house by a group of people. We wanted to make the house significant in some way, and we also wanted to have a twist.”
When Silverstein and his team twisted the plot around to what it was for the final film, they compared the film to Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
Silverstein stated that they “didn’t base the film around ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ but realized their similarities afterwards.”
“Filming got tedious at times due to repetitive shots and very late nights,” said Hanna Knight, a senior and actor in the winning film. “But it was all worth it, especially working with amazing friends.”
When she heard that they won first place at the festival, Knight thought it was surreal at first.
“It was still a little hard to process afterwards,” she said. “We were all really excited that all of our time and effort that went into this film went as far as it did.”
Silverstein recalled hearing the movie being announced as first place and claimed it was one of the best moments of his life.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to make a short film,” he said. “For our first short film ever to win just felt surreal. It took a while for first place to sink in.”