CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A senior at Veterans Memorial high school, Olivia Martinez has placed fourth in the University Interscholastic League in theater and film. She directed, wrote, and edited, her short film called, How it is Now.
There were 560 film entries in the UIL Young filmmakers film festival contest this year showcasing the films students have worked on during the academic year. Out of 200 entries, Martinez placed fourth in state for her short film in the narrative category.
Martinez said the film can relate to students and teachers about the internal struggles the changes of online school and how it effects an honor student take a look.
Martinez said her short film was personal to her because it gives an idea of the mental health challenges virtual learning caused for some students during the pandemic.
“It’s personal because that’s what I went through. I was a honors student all throughout high school, middle school and elementary. and switching to online it was a really big change, it affected my grades and my mentality like I thought I wasn’t good enough I wasn’t a good student anymore," said Martinez.
Laurel Brashears the Theater Arts Director and UIL sponsor for Martinez said teachers can relate to the film too.
“So I feel like as a teacher I could relate to her film because a lot of us were putting on a smile and turning on the zoom, but it was not the connection was not there," said Brashears.
“What I wanted the film to accomplish was students and teachers and people could relate to it in some kind of way. Because this pandemic has been so, like hard. I have a seen in the film with a teacher, and the zoom notifications are going off and its like entering the chat and leaving the chat. and that is suppose to represent the overwhelmingness that teachers face, and like the way that teachers cope with that because the teacher in this film was numb," said Martinez.
“It’s been a challenge. Every facet of education was touched by the challenge. Parents with young children, teachers trying to reach their students, and the students. Like there wasn’t a part of our society that wasn’t impacted when the schools had to go remote," said Brashers.
Martinez said in an industry dominated by male film makers, her passion is to inspire more people to create and go after their dreams.
“I want female film makers and queer film makers to be at the same level as male film makers because we want to hear their stories, like I want to hear their stories and I know so many people and if they don’t know it yet, they do they want to hear their stories," said Martinez.
Olivia Martinez is one of the finalists out of 2,000 applicants around the world in the All American Film High School film Festival. She finds out if she wins October 9-10, 2021 in New York City.
To check out her short film called How it is Now, visit here.