Thayer Academy Film Festival proves a blockbuster idea

Thayer Academy Film Festival proves a blockbuster idea

The first Thayer Academy Film Festival (TAFF) of this century saw a number of submissions and great community involvement, two factors which bode well for the future of the student-led festival. 

Lucy Hisenberg ‘26, Paige Johnson ‘26, and Tess Harper ‘26 founded the reboot of the festival and served as its principal organizers; Middle School Math Faculty Emmett Knox ‘04 was faculty advisor to last month’s celebration. 

“In our last meeting before the event, we all decided that even if it was just the organizers gathering to watch some films we had created, the festival would be a success,” said Knox, who is also the Middle School’s digital media coordinator. “The turnout and energy far exceeded our expectations. Paige, Tess, and Lucy were excellent hosts, and Abbie Dupie's musical performance was awesome. At the end of the night, we were all very excited to get started on [the next installment of] TAFF.” 

In welcoming remarks, Harper expressed her love of movies and filmmaking as well as the joy of connecting with those who feel the same way. She noted how difficult it is to make a film from original idea to finished product and thanked the TAFF filmmakers for doing so. 

“It’s a lot of work,” said Harper. “And you all took time out of your busy schedules to do all of that work because you felt inspired to. And that deserves recognition in itself.” 

The festival, held May 5 in the CFA’s Hale Theater, included the following student films: 

Book of Her Mind by Harper, Hisenberg, and Johnson

Stretching the Truth by Dillon Driscoll ‘27, Aashrita Joga ‘27, Compton Jones ‘27, and Zoe Rudolph ‘27

Anxiety by Catherine Sheehan ‘24

Just A Dream by Sofia Skop ‘23

Campus Hearts and Hellos by Hannah Sullivan ‘24

There were also three faculty film submissions: 

Travel ‘23 by Middle School World Languages Faculty Richie Iskra 

Who is Afraid? by Middle School Arts Faculty Jeff King ‘04 

keys wallet phone by Middle School Collaborative Design Lab Director Marie Jimenez and Knox. 

All films are available for viewing at the TAFF website. 

At the festival, Knox thanked the students, families, faculty, and staff in attendance and encouraged people to create their own films because TAFF organizers are already looking for submissions for next year. 

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