Student Spotlight: Anna Gamarnik

Julie Wood, Staff Writer

Anna Gamarnik, a senior at South, has been recognized for her talent of filmmaking and directing for the Pennsylvania 10 Day Film Challenge.

Her video, Apple of My Eye, was awarded three awards—Best Use of Genre, Best Use of Technique, and 2nd Place Overall.

The 10 Day Film Challenge is a competition for high school students and gives the contestants 10 days to work on their movie, along with directions on what should be incorporated in the video. This year, it was required that the videos had to feature a character named Eric or Erica Ashton who had just won an award, an apple, and the line, “Does it really make a difference?”

Apple of My Eye revolves around the character Eve, whom Anna describes as “a creepy, social outcast girl” who seeks the attention of a boy named Eric Ashton. Unfortunately, Eric and another girl in school won “Best Could-Be Couple,” and they decide to go to prom together. This event allows the audience to see the darker side of Eve and her plan for Eric.

Anna explained the process of creating her Apple of My Eye thriller film: “I wanted to make something that was not only interesting, but [also] unsettling. It seemed fun to try to put the audience on edge and leave an impression.”

Besides the chilling storyline, Anna also really enjoyed the overall creation of the film and “bring[ing] a vision to life.”

“As a director, you have to oversee every aspect of a film. Even though it isn’t easy, I enjoyed experiencing everything in the process,” she said. “Seeing the finished product makes all the crew’s hard work worth it.”

Upon winning awards in three categories of the 10 Day Film Challenge, Anna remembered being speechless and close to tears of happiness knowing that everyone’s hard work was recognized and that people actually enjoyed the film.

Anna thanked the crew of Apple of My Eye: “I want to thank Larissa Keer, since she was the camera operator and gave cinematic life to the screenplay. Pat Heaney was also a huge help and did all of the sound editing and music composition. And of course, the cast — Grace Gilbert, Dan Jordan, Sarah Cohen, and my entire media class as extras — did a great job.”

Before Apple of My Eye, Anna already had a strong interest in film. “Ever since I was young, I would always be the one filming family vacations on an old VHS camcorder,” Anna explained. “I also liked to draw and write, so I think my love for visuals, storytelling, and holding a camera naturally came together into an interest for film.” When she came to high school, Anna focused on her interest in film by taking Media Production classes and joining the CBTV club.

Although she can no longer participate in future 10 Day Film Challenges after her graduation, she plans on continuing her interest in film after high school.

Anna will be attending Temple University Honors for its Film and Media Arts program.

She looks forward to her future with film: “I want to continue in the path of screenwriting and directing. When I am able to establish myself in my career, I will always look fondly back to Apple of My Eye as my first cinematic achievement.”