Park City High School film teacher Ryan Miller, second from left, take a minute with his students, L-R, Adam Herr, Miranda Lewin, Douglas Emerson, Anders
Park City High School film teacher Ryan Miller, second from left, take a minute with his students, L-R, Adam Herr, Miranda Lewin, Douglas Emerson, Anders Nilsson and Sawyer Tibbitts before the 2014 Miner Film Festival begins at the Eccles Center. (Photo by Sara Tabin)
Compared to the light, humorous selections of 2013, the 2014 Miner Film Festival had a more somber tone as stories of death, pain, and insanity frequented the screen. The talent was no less spectacular, though as students unleashed their creativity in front of a packed Eccles Center for Park City High School's annual celebration of student-made films.

Audience members were animated throughout the night as they laughed and screamed, matching the filmmakers' excitement. Thursday the school was alive with talk of the festival as students discussed which films made them smile and which filled their eyes with tears.

"It was great to see all the hard work everyone put into it. Even if some films were difficult to watch, they were important to show," remarked PCHS senior Colby Judd.

Engineered by the late Chris Maddux during his years as a revered film teacher at Park City High School, the annual festival is a chance for Park City students and community members to appreciate the work of young filmmakers.

Says PCHS film teacher Ryan Miller "This is one area, one place where anyone and everyone can really express their voice. It is an arena where every kid has an opportunity to showcase their talents, their art, and their creativity."

After the screenings, outstanding movies and individuals were presented with prizes and golden video cameras.

Senior Douglas Emerson, who walked away with three awards, credits Miller with his positive experience in the school's film program. "Miller, he taught me everything I know about film. He's my mentor, he's my teacher."

The film program has also benefited from recent improvements in technology.

"This year, with the one-to-one the school district did, we've gone to Adobe software and every student in the program has the Adobe production suite," Miller said, adding, "Because of the Park City Education Foundation, we received grants that enabled us to purchase a lot more high definition DSLR cameras. It's been really neat to see the kids getting really excited about their films because of the equipment that's available to them"

Winners:

The Maddux Award- "Psychosis," Douglas Emerson, Sawyer Tibbitts, Tommy Halsey

Best Screenplay- "Emotion" Grant Carsten

Courageous Filmmaker- Kate Cier, Rachel Santa Maria "For a Reason"

Jury Award/Showcase Award- "One and Only," Douglas Emerson, Austin Wolfe

Jury Award/Life Aquatic Award- Brendan Mooney "A Day at the Beach, Buried"

Best Comedy- Nights on Broadway" Nate Cohen, Doug Nagie, Cameron Perry

Best Editing- Ring," Adam Herr

Best Director- Douglas Emerson "Leverage"

Best Director of Photography- Cameron Thuman "What do I Desire, Buried"

Best Performance- Anders Nilsson "Life After Torpedo Jones"


Grant Carsten, left, and Dylan Wolfe won best original screenplay for their short film "Emotion" at the 2014 Miner Film Festival on Wednesday.
Grant Carsten, left, and Dylan Wolfe won best original screenplay for their short film "Emotion" at the 2014 Miner Film Festival on Wednesday. (Photo by Sara Tabin)