Sherwood Park, AB. — On April 17, Grade 9 students in the Film Production course at F.R. Haythorne Junior High are showcasing their cinematic works at the school’s 19th annual Hawk Film Festival. The festival theme for this year: Split Screen.

Students write, shoot and edit their very own film in the class with the goal of presenting it at the festival for all their classmates, families and friends to see. The event takes place at the Sherwood Park Cineplex. Attendees will view 17 films altogether, including this year’s feature short film titled “Trouble.”

“I enjoyed making my film,” says Kaden Craig, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High. “I highly recommend the Film Production class for anyone interested in movies. I got to work with awesome people, and I'd do it again if I could.”

To fit with the theme for 2023, each film contains at least one example of the editing technique “split screen,” which is famously used in cinematic scenes for phone calls or to show multiple character reactions. This technique will be captured in several film genres, such as an old Hollywood-style film noir, a Hallmark romance and a chilling horror involving a haunted farm.

“I’m very proud of this year’s Film Production class and their tenacity to finish their work,” says Monty Drozda, a teacher at F.R. Haythorne Junior High. “This is the second largest Hawk Film Festival we’ve ever had. The 17 great student films demonstrate planning, creativity and a grasp of key film concepts to produce solid work and develop many transferrable skills. I’m looking forward to the festival—can’t wait for the applause and smiles after the show!”

The Film Production course offers students the opportunity to create their own short film from start to finish. They learn about the steps in the production process, participating in all aspects of filmmaking from how to write a proper film script to camera techniques, such as a dolly zoom. Students are also taught about the history of film and its evolution to the billion-dollar industry it’s become today. Overall, the program gives students the knowledge, tools and confidence in bringing their stories to the big screen.

“The production stage was amazing,” says Adalinne DeOliviera, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High. “I got to learn exactly what professionals do in the editing suite—which included so many different skills I can use in my future.”

Special thanks to Averi Hofer, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High, for her written contributions to this news release.


Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,460 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.



For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902