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MEDIA NITE 2017: Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Media Department

Media Nite 2k17 was yet another manifestation of how diverse the work done at SOTA is. Our cinematographers are truly a phenomena of SOTA. Led by Salome Milstead and Scott Eberhardt (my two beloved English teachers), the media department literally makes movies. Ranging from documentaries to animations, Media Nite is the time of the year for movie lovers to enjoy an entire evening of new and fresh films made by high school students.

I would also like to take this moment to give a huge shoutout to the Media Department's seniors (yay class of 2017!!!), consisting of Shiloh Atkinson, Ethan Bresnick, Saoirse Brownfield-Magee, Madelynne Hewitt, Avidan Novogrodsky-Godt, and Chaia Startz.
Media Nite opened with a short and funny prelude (by tradition), predominantly featuring the Media Dept's seniors and their dept heads, Scott and Salome.

The first film featured was a cute shorty called Cloud Runner by Annabella Mortenson. It was about a young girl who caught a cloud at Ocean Beach and watered her plant with the rain she milked out of the captured cloud. The film's short and concise style was prevalent throughout the footage and was great for projecting the beauty of innocence theme.

A film by James Parker Pennington called Slumberland followed a young man who had missed out on a lot of very necessary hours of sleep that led him to day dream strange and peculiar things as he slouched in deep slumber on the Bart train taking him home after school. It was the familiarity of the situation that attracted everyone in that film.

Ma by Queenie Li was about a young girl whose mother thought it more appropriate to chafe her daughter regularly rather than to talk to her about her problems and personal desires both outside and inside of school. As the plot developed, the young girl got into pretty bad company and ended up being framed and caught by the police. As her mother disowned her, the theme of the movie became clearer than ever: that children need supportive parents to help them through a tough age, not unreasonably strict ones that only cause more fear than actually help solve any kind of problem.

Flicker by Alicia Lowe was definitely a twist to Media Nite in the sense that the animation mixed with film style was very different from everything else done before that evening. The film depicted a sort of monster-creature that was pursuing an electric plug. The film was full of deep symbolism.

The film that closed the first half was A Town Painted Red, directed by Dylan Lalanne-Perkins and edited by Reign Lafreniere, filmed in the Advanced Practicum Workshop. This film resembled a horror/thriller with some aspects of mysetery as well as suspenseful keeping of information from the audience until the very end. Their was a certain humor aspect in the film, starring our one and only teacher Andy Padlo. I think this film could be developed into a long and complete horror thriller, maybe even with some addition of psychological suspense for the better developing of the murderous characters. I won't spoil it.

Audrey Soulé was my Algebra II teacher my freshman year, and I would like to express my extreme gratitude for her and the enormous amount of support she offered and continues to offer to everyone at SOTA. Ms. Soulé and her quirky mnemonic devices and oversized fedoras and tennis rackets are only 1/345 of the fun and awesome individual she is and will continue to be! I am extremely honored to have met her and have had her as my teacher, and she will be missed at SOTA next year. Au Revoir, Audrey was the opening film of the second half of Media Nite, and it was a tear-inducing tribute to the wonderful Audrey Soulé who will be leaving SOTA next year. The film was a humorous documentary featuring interviews with Soulé herself and with students who know her. It was a very nice tribute and once the film was finished, Soulé, who was sitting in the back of the theater, called out in those few moments of silence: "thank you".

First Draft by Cole Simon was another animation featuring drawn versions of Cole himself and Scott Eberhardt. The animation was about writer's block, and after going through the creative process of coming up with his own story, Cole ended up submitting to Scott a screenplay consisting of nothing more than a blank page with nothing written on it. The irony of the ending was memorable.

Gupt Laalaten/The Secret Lantern by Intermediate I Production Workshop, featured students from the SOTA World Dance Department. The film was a truly spectacular glimpse into the art that this newly formed department at SOTA practices every day.

If you've read my last article on the SOTA Dance Department's concert (HERE), you know that I am a huge fan of Maya Angelou and her poetry, especially her famous poem Phenomenal Woman. So, when I saw that Shiloh Atkinson filmed a collective reading of Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou, I was more than excited. I was pumped. This film featured several different women from SOTA, including teachers, each of which read a line from the masterful poem. Shiloh played the guitar in the background and the visual animations in the background were truly spectacular.

Wishing everyone all the very best!


  1. From the first Media Nite post ever to this, your final Media Nite, I have loved reading your thoughtful words and insights. Thank you for this chronicle of the students' art through the years!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the post 💘 Thank you for all the help and support you have offered me my entire high school experience 😍 I'll miss being in your English class next year.


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