Winners announced for student film fest

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

The annual Pens to Lens event announced its winners last Saturday at a red carpet gala held at the Warehouse of Living Arts Center. Students, teachers, parents, and supporters of the Navarro County Pens to Lens competition gathered in excitement to celebrate the achievements of these young creative individuals.

Jay Jones was the show’s emcee, introducing and announcing the winners in each category. Each winner received a cash award: First Place, $100, Second Place, $50, Third Place, $25. 

Elementary Division: First Place: JaTavenanna Willis, Second Place: Kyla Ross; Third Place, Eva Sodd, poster: Addie Jones. Willis and her relatives read her play, and was assisted by Tabitha Wilkes, who played the narrator.

Intermediate/Junior High Division: First Place: Lana Gober; Second Place: Matthew Perez; Third Place: Kate Higgs. Students from the Warehouse performed a reading of Gober’s script, Birthday Scare. Jadi Collier, Nina Jones, and Samantha Stewart played the main characters, while John Kaiser III and Carol Jones played the parents.

High School Division: First Place: Cayden McGee; Second Place: Christain Cuella; Third Place: Samantha Miranda. Tabitha Wilkes interviewed McGee and Cuella prior to showing Cayden’s winning play, which was shot by Jay Jones, written and directed by McGee, and starred Erin Jones, Carolyn Jones, and Jarrod Lampier.

A PowerPoint presentation was shown prior to and during the performances. Lynda Green, originator of the program, gave a brief history of Pens to Lens, and expressed appreciation to the board members and benefactors.

The stage was decorated with balloons designed to look like the Oscars. Gift bags and T-shirts were given to all participating students.

About the Pens to Lens program: The Warehouse Living Arts Center, Navarro Council of the Arts, Outside the Lines Creative Studios, Corsicana Independent School District and the Hull Creative Arts Foundation team up to bring the filmmaking process to the students of Navarro County and to help them learn analytical thinking and an appreciation for the arts. Students have new opportunities to work with technology, collaborate with peers and mentors, and show off their resourcefulness in the Navarro County Pens to Lens Student Film Festival. The Navarro County Pens to Lens program nurtures within students a number of artistic aspects of the film making process where writers, artists, actors, editors, directors and camera operators come together to bring scripts to life. For more information, visit

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