Winning student film challenges parents to look beyond the mask

One of the winning entries in this year's Student Film Festival highlights how teenagers can hide their fear and anxiety from their parents.

A confronting short film by a Year 11 student that challenges parents to pay closer attention to their teenage children is among the winners in this year’s Student Film Festival hosted by Independent Schools Victoria.

Titled Mask Off, the film was created by Kailey Silver, a Year 11 student at Mount Scopus Memorial College, located in the Melbourne suburb of Burwood.

The film won the creative and technical award as well as the people’s choice award in the Year 11 category.

'Outstanding and sensitive treatment'

Festival judge Christine Evely, the head of education at ACMI, praised Mask Off for its ‘outstanding and sensitive treatment of a very important topic, with well planned, thoughtful scripting and filming’.

The title is unrelated to the masks used during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather, its focus is on how teenagers can mask their fear and anxiety from their parents.

‘Kailey’s film contains a challenging message that’s powerfully delivered, prompting adults to listen to their teenage children,’ said ISV’s Chief Executive, Michelle Green, said 

The film festival attracted more than 70 entries from students in all school sectors. Of these 27 were shortlisted in five categories: Year 12, Year 11, Middle Years, Junior Years and Early Years.

 ‘Once again this year’s festival has revealed the talent of our young people,’ Ms Green said. ‘The entries are a credit not only to the filmmakers, but to the teachers who have nurtured their creativity and technical skills during a time of great upheaval.’

The film festival is held under the auspices of the Arts Learning Festival.

find out the winners of the 2021 Student Film Festival