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East Point Academy student film takes festivals by storm

West Columbia, SC 01/18/2022- “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes,” this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved classic “The Little Prince'' describes the experience of East Point Academy drama students while writing, creating, and filming their short adaptation. While the final product is visible, the lasting impact of the process is not.

East Point Academy is best known as a language immersion school, but it is also an Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) school with a robust drama program. Under the guidance of Drama Teacher Yili Fan, Middle Campus students wrote, directed, and produced a short film called “The Little Prince with a Mask.” Meeting the students where they are, the film was shot entirely on a cell phone during drama class time. The final product has impressed film festivals all over the world. Honors include: “Best Short Documentary” from Lacorne International Film Festival, “Jury Award'' in the Children’s Short Film Festival in UK, “Finalist” in the Paris International Film Awards, Tokyo International Short Film Festival, and Lantern and Light International Children’s Film Festival, “Semi-Finalist” in Boden International Film Festival, and Children Cinema Awards, “Honorable Mention” in Vienna International Film Awards,and “Official Selection” in Genesis International Film Festival, Samskara International Film Festival, and Alytus International Film Festival.

“Students were assigned to make their own script from the points of view of different characters in the Little Prince after they studied the history of the Little Prince,” explained Fan of the process. “The students voted to decide whose script would be produced...They made their own designs, costume, hair, make-up, props and scene sets.” The end result was a hands-on experience that gave students real world production experience. The film can be viewed here:

“Little Prince with a Mask” impacted more than just audiences. The students involved enjoyed the process learning everything from camera work, to costuming, to acting. Student Kasiah Hart who played the Fox reflected “I had never done camera acting before, and that was a real experience...the character isn’t always happy, and so you have to put on that mask to create the mood.” Student Madeline Connor summed up the impact of the project saying “We learned about scriptwriting, filming, and my favorite...acting in front of a camera...I also got to get closer with the people in the class and make new friends. It was a really good experience!”

PHOTO: East Point Academy's “Little Prince with a Mask”


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