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Jake Rowley Merit Award Recipients

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Lights, Camera, Education

MAPS Media Institiute shifts into high gear

Now showing: MAPS to present student film festival at Pharaohplex

The MAPS Media Institute will present their annual student film festival this Saturday at the Pharaohplex Theater in Hamilton. Free to the public, the film festival is meant to showcase the creations of the young filmmakers in a Hollywood premier-like setting.

"It's their ‘Oscar' moment," said MAPS president Peter Rosten. "The purpose is to share the kids' work with the community. The work gets better every year. These kids are blowing my mind with what they are creating. This is really a tribute to our teachers as well. When we started in 2004, we had to grind it through a lot of hands, but now the kids require a lot less adult supervision. They are doing outstanding work. It's awesome."

The MAPS Institute will also be awarding recipients of the Jake Rowley Merit Award on Saturday. Rowley was a dedicated MAPS student who drowned in 2009.

"Jake was a brilliant writer and filmmaker, and sadly he moved on way too early," Rosten said. "He loved MAPS so much that his family established a modest fund so we can make this award every year. It's our way to keep Jake's memory alive."

The event on Saturday starts at noon, and will be appropriate for all ages. The students shot all the projects in the MAPS building. One of the films is about two brothers, one of whom is autistic, who learn from each other and turn a disadvantage into an advantage. The film was written by Alyx Steadman.

"This was pretty deep water for Alyx to write, for a first-year student," Rosten said. "I was thrilled. This is going to be a great event to showcase their work."