Finalists selected in statewide Young Filmmakers Contest

May 15, 2023

Top 10 high school short films to debut at free screening on May 20 in Columbia


Columbia, S.C. – After receiving a record number of entries from across the state, 10 finalists have been selected for the South Carolina Young Filmmakers Project. The winner will be announced at a screening in Columbia on May 20.

The South Carolina Young Filmmakers Project is an annual high school filmmaking competition inviting students from every corner of the state to submit two-minute short films. The contest is one of many initiatives from the South Carolina Film Commission to expand the state’s film and production talent, and strengthen our overall film industry. Winners receive cash prizes and trophies, along with the opportunity to network with some of the state’s film industry leaders.

The top 10 finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • A War on Cards | Sarah Bradley Wells | D.W. Daniel High School | Clemson
  • Ace of Shades | Peyton LeNoir and Carter Mowrer | Pinewood Preparatory School | North Charleston
  • Beyond | Kali Burdick | Home School | Murrells Inlet
  • Cards | Daisy Vaughan | Woolard Technology Center | Lugoff
  • Fold | Skylar Torrey and Sofia Sequeira | Catawba Ridge High School | Fort Mill
  • Hiraeth | Addie Neuberg | Academy for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology | Myrtle Beach
  • Look Up | Myla Williams | Fort Dorchester High School | North Charleston
  • Shuffled | Isaac Cinnamon | Summerville High School | Summerville
  • Summer | Dani Werbel and Anne Werber | Lucy Beckham High School | Isle of Palms
  • The Dark Deck | MacKenzie Mott and Bryce Hopkins | Palmetto High School | Easley

Students have complete creative liberties in developing their short film's storyline, style, and overall message, but every entry must incorporate a specific prop. The required prop changes each year, and this year’s selection was playing cards. Participants used the prop in incredibly imaginative ways – from creating captivating stop-motion animations to delivering high-stakes thrillers.

The top 10 films will screen at a special program atSpotlight Cinemas Capital 8 in Columbia at 2 pm on Saturday, May 20 (201 Columbia Mall Blvd., Columbia, SC). The event is FREE and the public is encouraged to attend. It will include a Q&A with the high school filmmakers, the announcement of winners, and a brief reception.

“Video storytelling is a major economic driver for all industries,” said South Carolina Film Commissioner, Matt Storm. “This contest is an exciting way for high school students to explore their interest in filmmaking, develop their skills, and network with some of the state’s top film industry leaders. We’re always working to expand the film footprint in South Carolina, and that starts with cultivating our homegrown talent. This contest is a fun way and creative way to do that.”

“We continue to be impressed with the skill and talent the Young Filmmakers Project brings out,” said Glenn Seale, Dean of Film, Media and Visual Arts at Trident Technical College in North Charleston, one of the contest’s main partners. “We encourage everyone to come and see what these filmmakers have cooked up.”

For more information on the Young Filmmakers Project visit


Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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