Lawrence High film students took home 12 of a possible 15 awards for their creations at the fourth Focus Film Festival Awards ceremony Sunday.
LHS junior Luke McDaneld won three awards for his drama “Elise,” including best drama, best story and the biggest award of the day, best in show.
“I’m surprised that I won some of these because there were a couple people that made some really good stuff,” McDaneld said.
This year’s festival included 80 movies from 11 area high schools. About 300 people showed up to see the winning films at Liberty Hall.
“Anytime students are allowed the opportunity to have their visions seen, their voices heard, it’s awesome,” said Jeff Kuhr, Lawrence High’s film teacher.
LHS senior Ryan Hobbs won with his team’s comedy film, “The Ballad of Bryan Jaston,” and won best actor playing the title character.
“When we make film, my inspiration is people that I actually meet and that I find funny to myself and then I just exaggerate them,” Hobbs said. “It’s nice to have other people see what you’ve worked hard on.”
And the LHS students’ hard work paid off with a near sweep of the awards.
“Every year, the judges see the films blind, not knowing where the films come from,” said Kuhr. “It was just as surprising to me that they (the LHS students) did as well as they did.”