Student Short Film Triumphs at Local Film Fest

(COVINGTON, La.) — Senior filmmaker Parker Layman and the Guerrilla Wolves staff won the “Best High School Film” and “Audience Favorite” at the Pontchartrain Film Festival held at the Mandeville Trailhead in November with their short film, “The Great Snack Caper.”

“I’m really honored that the Pontchartrain Film Festival enjoyed my show enough to recognize me as the winner,” Layman said. “It’s really encouraging to me as a filmmaker to continue to make more content.”

The Guerilla Wolves is a group of St. Paul’s students that produce short skits and news programming for the SPS student body in a weekly broadcast over Wolf TV, the school’s closed-circuit system.

The film fest’s winning project, called “The Great Snack Caper,” written and directed by Layman and produced by the Guerrilla Wolves, was about a fictional theft that occurred at Sarge’s snack stand in the main school building.

The detective assigned to cover the case, played by senior Jacob Bopp, had to figure out who stole all the snacks to stop the thief, played by Layman.

Along with the film festival judges, students at SPS also enjoyed the short films produced this year.

“Guerrilla Wolves has definitely improved a lot this year,” sophomore Kelsey Whittemore said. “They deserved this award. It was probably my favorite skit they’ve done all year.”

“Mr. Guillory actually encouraged us to enter the competition,” Layman said, regarding Guerrilla Wolves club moderator Brad Guillory. “I surely did not think we could win, considering there were kids from NOCCA who entered. But, I guess someone must have really enjoyed it, so I’m happy.”

According to Layman, the film took almost an entire year to film because footage was lost or deleted several times.

“We had to go back and reshoot multiple scenes,” Layman said. “Since I went through some significant weight loss at the time, I had to put a pillow in my shirt for some scenes. It’s pretty obvious if you look close enough.”

This film’s recognition represents the most recent in a string of awards earned by the club in November, including third place in a Metairie Bank video contest and five awards from the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association at the annual LSPA conference. According to Layman, he and the Guerrilla Wolves staff are looking to continue to improve their video editing skills as they move forward.

Erica Villerajos and Paul Myers of Metairie Bank (far right) present the Guerrilla Wolves with a plaque and $250 check for third place in the bank’s “We Give Back” video contest for their video depicting the SPS Thanksgiving Food Drive. Guerrilla Wolves representatives shown include moderator Brad Guillory and students Brandon Gallego, Parker Layman, John Meyers, and Thomas Williamson. (photo by Danielle Lavie)

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