Clover High School grad’s independent film among the best in SC contest

A Clover High School graduate’s film-making landed him in the top three of a statewide contest.

Aaron Falls, 18, placed third at the 2018-2019 Young Filmmakers Project sponsored by the South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College, according to a release from S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

The annual statewide high school competition is “designed to foster media arts skills and bring attention to the next generation of South Carolina filmmakers,” the release states.

Participants’ short films, two minutes max, were judged on script and story, production value, design and style and overall impact, the release states. The competition is open to all high school students in grades 9-12, including public, private and homeschool.

The top 10 student films were shown on May 11 at the Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia. A celebration followed with the announcement of the winners.

Falls’ short film, “Firewall, was co-directed by Malcolm Addison, Falls said.

A character in “Firewall” uses virtual reality to enter a business building. He uses a compass to guide him to a flash drive, which he and his friends need to hack into an organization, Falls said.

Videos for the contest had to include a compass in the story, Falls said. He and Malcolm worked on the short film together, spending about two weeks planning, shooting and editing.

Falls, who graduated Thursday, received $200 for placing third, according to the department.

“We definitely weren’t expecting to win anything,” Falls said. “We were shocked.”

Payton Stone Helene, a student at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology in Myrtle Beach, placed first and received $500, the release states. Second place and a prize of $300 went to Dorian Del Valle of The Palmetto Scholars Academy in North Charleston.

Next year’s young filmmakers contest details will be announced in the fall. Deadlines for entries will be in spring 2020. For more information, visit indiegrants.org.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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