Return to Headlines

Henry Co. students win statewide film festival

HENRY CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A group of students in Henry County brought home a state title to Magna Vista High School.

Magna Vista Seniors Emily Maxey and Kei Troxell were among a group to win the Virginia High School League’s 2018 film festival. They won first place in the animation category.

“I knew we had the potential, but just hearing that our video was called out as judge’s pick was like cloud 9,” Maxey said.

The group knew they wanted to do an animated film right off the bat. The challenging part was finding a topic.

“Oh I feel anxious. And I was like hey that’s a good idea,” said Troxell.

So the group decided to center their animated film around the idea of anxiety, an issue most high school students deal with on a daily basis.

“It’s been a struggle for me to overcome anxiety as the years have gone on. It’s has come and go,” Maxey said.

Troxell, Maxey and their third teammate, who has now graduated, spent hours drawing, writing and editing before they felt comfortable with the final product.

Despite competing against bigger school districts with larger budgets, Magna Vista held their own and brought home the championship to Henry County. The experience taught the students a valuable lesson.

“It doesn’t matter what resources you have. If your story reaches people, then your video is going to be more touching to other people,” Maxey said.

Magna Vista teacher Bryan Dunn helped coach the girls to victory.

“The students are the ones who did all the work,” he said. “I feel like I was just here to coach them. I was just here to guide them.”

Dunn said he is his happiest when his students succeed. He hopes to have other students enter the film competition in the future.

Both Maxey and Troxell say they would love to be involved in the arts following high school.