Students from two DeKalb schools were the big winners at the first DeKalb Student Film Festival on Feb. 21, bringing home awards in the Best of Show and Audience Choice categories.

The DeKalb School of the Arts was named the Overall Winner for their film “Locked Out.”

The DeKalb Entertainment Commission partnered with the DeKalb County School District for this first-ever film festival highlighting student productions.

Students competed in three categories of films: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Film industry judges served on a panel evaluating the submissions and awards were distributed in each category for Best of Show, Audience Choice and one final Overall Winner.

“As the film industry continues to grow in Georgia, it is important for us to train the next generation of filmmakers,” Shelbia Jackson, director of the DeKalb Entertainment Commission, said in a statement. “DeKalb County, through the DeKalb Entertainment Commission, has made it a priority to offer excellent audio visual programs to our middle and high school students.”

Best of Show winners include:

  • Beginner - DeKalb School of the Arts, “Invisible”
  • Intermediate - DeKalb School of the Arts, “Blind Spot”
  • Advanced - DeKalb School of the Arts, “Locked Out”

Audience Choice winners include:

  • Beginner - Lakeside High School, “Joust”
  • Intermediate - Lakeside High School, “Sciophobia”
  • Advanced - DeKalb School of the Arts, “Locked Out”

The overall winner for the Best of Show was DeKalb School of the Arts for “Locked Out.”

Thirty-three films were submitted from 13 high schools and one middle school as part of DeKalb County School District’s AV and Film Program.

Participating High Schools were Arabia Mountain, Chamblee, Columbia, DeKalb High School of Technology South, DeKalb School of the Arts, Dunwoody, Lakeside, Miller Grove, McNair, Southwest DeKalb, Stephenson, Towers and Tucker. Tucker Middle School also participated.

“This is another fantastic example of DeKalb County School District staying in step with fruitful, innovative industries in the metro Atlanta area,” DeKalb County School District Superintendent and CEO Dr. R. Stephen Green said in a statement. “The television and film industries have proven, in recent years, that they are here to stay. As a school district promising the best opportunities for our students, we are poised to offer courses in production and foster our students’ artistic talent. This was truly a great opportunity to witness our students soaring to new heights.”

The judges for the festival included: Mark Ashworth, actor; Matthew Cornwell and Eric Goins, ReImagine/ATL; Jessica Fox-Thigpen, Fox Casting; Bobby Huntley, director; Jason MacDonald, Drama Inc. acting studio; Justin O’Neal Miller, Alchemy Set, production company; Angela Ray, actress; Barry Stoltze, actor; Scott Thigpen and Maggie Mock, Crazy Legs Productions.