Stephenville High School seniors, Emily Moore and Caleb Gibbons, had big success at the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival in Austin by winning fifth place in the state for their powerful Heart of Gold documentary.
SHS's Heart of Gold football game honors someone every year who is struggling with some form of illness.
Moore and Gibbons got the idea from SHS theatre teacher Mindy Pope and ran with it.
“It’s great because it’s community oriented and it was relatable and I thought it was a great idea because of that,” Moore said.
The two started the film in October right before this year’s Heart of Gold game that honored Luke Nelson and put in countless hours filming, editing and making sure they put out a quality film that really meant something.
“I was really proud of it especially since we competed against documentaries that used drone shots, professional cameras and professional microphones. So to make it to state against films like that is a really big honor,” Moore said.
Gibbons added, “We were honored to make it. We were proud to see it up on the screen competing against very good films and just happy to be there.”
The two said the festival was a memorable experience and in the future Moore and Gibbons said they may continue to do some filmmaking.
“I think I’d consider doing another documentary,” Moore said. “I want to go into science and I think it would be cool to document research in that way.”
Moore, Gibbons and Mindy Pope gave a big thanks to Stephenville native and Los Angeles Rams safety Cody Davis who made an appearance in the documentary.
“That’s what honestly helped us compete with the others that had professional cameras,” Gibbons said.
Pope added, “For him to take the time and for the Rams to film it for us was just really incredible.”
Pope is proud of the film, saying it just makes you feel good and that the audience’s emotional response could be heard during the festival.
“That story was so representative of our town and our school and I’m just incredibly proud of it,” Pope said. “I’m so proud they went to state, but I’m so proud they told that story because it was so worth it. Very inspiring.”