All the filming is over, the edits have been made, and the results are finally in! Stella McCain won the Audience Award Winner and her film matters.
Saturday, Sept. 8 marked the third annual Indie Memphis Youth Film Festival held at the Orpheum Theatre. Numerous high school students from the Memphis area participated, including three turkeys: Stella McCain (12), Abby Utley (12), and Lily Cloud (10). After a day of multiple showcases and thought-provoking films, the Award Ceremony brought in exciting results: Stella McCain’s film “Study Buddies” won the Memphis Youth Competition Audience Award.
“I was so surprised and happy that I won! The audience had really good reactions when watching the film, laughing and yelling at extra exciting parts which was encouraging” said Mccain.
“Study Buddies” is a rom-com between two girls: the nervous main character Skye and her crush Hannah. Stella admits to being worried that people would react negatively to a LGBTQ+ love story. As a result, she said, “It was definitely validating for me as well as all of the other LGBTQ+ audience members” to win this award.
McCain also enjoyed being around all of the other filmmakers. She said, “I would highly recommend the festival for anyone interested in film or filmmaking because it’s so cool to see all of the filmmakers different styles and visions.”
As for the future, McCain does have some ideas in the works. She is currently finalizing scripts, but it will not be long before she reaches out on social media for casting. Without spoiling details, she said, “You can definitely look for more films focusing on underrepresented voices and relevant topics.”
Until then, be on the lookout for an upcoming opportunity to watch the films by McCain, Utley, and Cloud that were showcased at the Indie Memphis Youth Film Festival.