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Fourteen PSJA Films advance to UIL State Finals, Promote Social Change

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Texas Border Business

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PHARR – Congratulations to the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) ISD Theatre groups who advanced to the UIL Young Filmmaker’s Festival State competition. Three of the six UIL State Finalists in the Documentary category are PSJA ISD films. They will be competing in the Virtual State Meet Ceremony on Friday, March 12.  

The following films were named State Finalists: 

  • El Rey – PSJA Southwest Early College HS 
  • The Attack of the Filmmaker – PSJA North Early College HS 
  • The Historic Cine El Rey – PSJA Southwest Early College HS 

Twenty-three PSJA ISD films representing five PSJA high schools advanced to Round 2 of the competition, with seven of those films advancing to the State Semi-Finals. The participating schools were: PSJA Early College HS, PSJA Memorial Early College HS, PSJA North Early College HS, PSJA Southwest Early College HS and PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM Early College HS.  

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In addition, the following films were nominated for the new Nobelity Social Impact Award, which celebrates student films that promote social change: 

  • The Apple Doesn’t Fall – PSJA Southwest ECHS 
  • After School – PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • The Lines of Our Lives – PSJA Southwest ECHS 
  • My Passion – PSJA North ECHS 
  • El Rey – PSJA Southwest ECHS 
  • The Hardest Goodbye – PSJA ECHS 
  • The Historic Cine El Rey – PSJA Southwest ECHS 
  • WEIGHT – PSJA Memorial ECHS 
  • Karma – PSJA North ECHS 
  • Defaced – PSJA Southwest ECHS 

“Theatre Education at PSJA ISD continues to excel. I am so proud of our students and directors for their creative work and innovation,” said PSJA Superintendent Jorge L. Arredondo. 

According to PSJA Fine Arts Director Jon Taylor, these achievements are yet another example that PSJA ISD students continue to excel despite the challenges of virtual education.  

“To earn success at such a high level of competition is a testament to your talent, work ethic, and passion for theatre. We are so proud of you and your directors! Good luck at the State Meet!” said Taylor. 

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According to PSJA Southwest ECHS Documentary Film Director Carlos Palacios, which had two of their films make it to the State finals, the group decidedly created their films during the fall of 2020 despite the year’s circumstances.  

“With this year being such an odd time with virtual learning we saw filmmaking as a creative outlet that that wasn’t hindered,” Palacios said. 

The 2021 UIL Young Filmmaker’s Festival State results will be announced at the Virtual State Meet Ceremony on March 12, 2021. Details to tune in for the livestream event will be available at https://www.uiltexas.org/film

To learn more about the Fine Arts programs available at PSJA ISD, visit www.psjaisd.us/finearts or call 956-354-2000 ext. 1167, 1169. 

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