Stephenville students earn recognition at UIL Young Filmmakers Festival

E-T staff report
Danna Villareal-Lopez won the state championship for Division I in Digital Animation for her short film, "Puppy Love."
"Puppy Love," tells the story of "a cute dog excited to go for a walk in the dog park. Once there, it finds something that it loves much more than tennis balls."
Nicole Islas placed fourth in Division I Traditional Animation with her short film, "Trapped."
"Trapped," is a short film about a young boy whose world is monotonous due to the trauma of his father's death. He spends his years believing it was his fault." Video still from YouTube/art by Nicole Islas

Two Stephenville High School students recently received statewide recognition for their entries in the University Interscholastic League's Young Filmmakers Festival.

Danna Villareal-Lopez won the state championship for Division I in Digital Animation for her short film, "Puppy Love." According to the UIL, digital animation is "any animation that involves creating key frames and the software creates the intermediate frames to create the illusion is considered digital."

Nicole Islas placed fourth in Division I Traditional Animation with her short film, "Trapped." The UIL defines traditional animation as "any film where 100% of the 'frames' and their content are created by hand. The medium can be pencil, pen or brush on paper... The key here is that there is drawing by hand."

The students are sponsored by Jennifer Jones, Stephenville High School business and technology instructor.

The awards were announced virtually via the Texas UIL website.

"This has been a challenging year ... but that's what we are all about," said Luiz Munoz, UIL Film Director, during the presentation. "We are about finding solutions to problems and that's what you did."

Villareal-Lopez and Islas' films were chosen from among 565 total entries, which are narrowed down to six finalists in each category. There are four categories, each with a Division I and Division II classification.

In addition to the two animation categories, there are Narrative Film and Documentary categories.

"Puppy Love," tells the story of "a cute dog excited to go for a walk in the dog park. Once there, it finds something that it loves much more than tennis balls."

The 3-minute video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEmkwOyL70o

"Trapped," is a short film about "a young boy whose world is monotonous due to the trauma of his father's death. He spends his years believing it was his fault."

The main character is eventually able to release himself of the weight of his guilt.

The 1.34-minute video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkaw6yxQ6kI

"They (the entries) have moved me. They have made me laugh. They have made me think. They have done all these things that films should do to humanity," Munoz commented before announcing this year's competition winners.