Elmira, NY Students Highlight Mental Illness in Winning Serling Fest Film


Leena Trinh and Kenly Kuhn are student filmmakers from Greater Southern Tier BOCES in Elmira, NY.  Their film ‘Anaya, Part 1′, was recently awarded the ‘Best Abstract/Experimental’ award in the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival.  They responded to a few interview questions:

What is your film about?  Can you summarize it in a few sentences?
Our film was about bringing depression into a real life person, or demon that follows Anaya around and starts to give her problems. At first it is just simply a dark figure and voices she hears, but it becomes much more than that. Even though she is suffering more and more, in the end she made it through. 

How did you come up with the idea for your film?
We came up with the idea by wanting to do a dark themed short, but we wanted to do something different than blood and gore so putting together the world of fantasy monsters that lurk under the bed, and turning that into a more realistic situation of mental illness became our starting point.  We wanted it to be something that we knew a lot of people could relate to, and to show how it really does affect people and their everyday lives.

Can you talk about your approach to the script and technical elements you used?
We were considering a script, but at some point, we felt as if the expressions of the actors and the music seemed as if we could capture the attention of the audience much more effectively. 

Thank you for sharing your film with WSKG! How did you hear about the Rod Serling Film Festival?
Mr. Orshal is our audio media teacher and as a final grade he makes each of his student create a film from the bottom up, from scripting, actors, storyboard and editing, this was the project he had us do for a few weeks.

Which part of this filmmaking experience did you enjoy the most?
I would say we enjoyed most of the process, but seeing it all come together on screen, especially after the music and putting on some effects made us proud of all of the work and effort we put into your film.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I would just like to thank everyone on the production team. We both put our ideas on the table and even though things weren’t perfect 100% of the time, it turned out better than we ever thought it would be and I couldn’t have done it without her. I also want to add that to anyone who entered or wants to enter should just work really hard and put a lot and time and effort into it, or anything in life. We never expected to win and we are honored to be able to represent this category and I feel hopeful going on and pursuing my career goal of becoming a film producer.

Leena Trinh | Artist Statement
I think my inspiration comes from YouTube, Tumblr and nature. Certain vloggers capture my inner artist when they do a beautiful job putting together bits and pieces of things that are ordinary, and simple, but bring elegance into it. My own motivation is wanting to improve my own skills, and bring my point of view into a medium where others can enjoy it too.Trinh

I’m not to the level of pros but I use what I have and I make the best of it. I own an NX3000, which I occasionally use for vlogger, and some photography. Some techniques I like to use are before shooting I like to do thorough location scouting. I just take a moment to envision what the scene would look like on camera, placement of actors, and I take in the aura of the place. It may sound strange but I want the mood of the location to match the feel of that scene.

I think what my art means to me is that I am expressing my creative self in a way no one else can. I am just being myself and I want to share my moments with the world, and to do so is my passion.

Kenly Kuhn | Artist Statement
There really is a lot of things that inspire me when I do… well anything. Nowadays there are so many people putting themselves out there in different social media sites and for years I would watch them, always wishing I could do some oKenlyKuhnf the things they do, and it’s only been recently that I have begun putting myself out there. Different YouTubers, as Leena said, really are very inspiring. I just want to put myself out there and show the world who I am, and make people happy in any way I can.

I’m probably the farthest thing from being a professional. I use an old laptop for editing with just the software that comes on it, and a Samsung Galaxy Camera(2?) for pictures or vlogs/videos I do. I tend to have no approach when it comes to my videos. I get an idea and go with pretty much the first thing I think of. It’s definitely not the best way to do things, but for some reason it works for me.

To me, my art means….everything?? I really don’t know how to put any of this. It’s just me. My art is who I am and while I may develop new skills or change my style now and again, my art is still me. I’m not the best by far when it comes to artists (of any kind), but I’m the best me, and that’s what matters.

The 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival will be held at the Art Mission & Theater on October 16, 2016 and all winning selections can be found here.