Summer workshop film wins in festival

Danielle Kaye

A film documenting the story of Holocaust survivor Curt Lowens, created by students in the Harvard-Westlake summer film program, placed first in the My Hero film festival student category.

The film is a product of the Righteous Conversations Project Digital Storytelling Workshop.

The program was offered at the upper school campus for the first time this summer.

Student filmmakers attended Milken Community High School, Aveson Global Leadership Academy, Windward School and AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School.

Lowens’ past was brought to life through animation inspired by StoryCorps and its recent film adaptations. Visual Arts Department Head Cheri Gaulke and visual arts teacher Alyssa Sherwood helped the students throughout the process alongside professional filmmaker Cosmo Segurson, whose films have won various awards and first feature has attracted audiences watching on Netflix and Showtime.

“I think the main purpose [of the film] is to share a story of resistance and overcoming the challenges of the war,” Gaulke said.

The My Hero festival accepts various genres of films from filmmakers of all ages.

The Curt Lowens film is the first submission from the Righteous Conversations Project, and will be recognized during the My Hero awards ceremony Nov. 22.

Milken Community High School student Tammy Shine said the program as a whole was a unique and valuable experience.

“I think the compilation of all of our ideas is what made the video so special,” Shine said.