Sequim students celebrate winning at film festival
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
The filmmaking team of Stephen Silliman, Daniel Call, Kyle Lee Gordeuk and Josh Finch, from left, thrust their Elkie awards in the air after winning the best picture award and a total of $3,000 in scholarships at the Sequim Education Foundation's eighth annual student film festival at the high school.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM –– Shoving their trophy statuettes and an oversized check into the air, Stephen Silliman, Daniel Call, Kyle Lee Gordeuk and Josh Finch celebrated their mentor, Luke Kisena, after their film about his painting passion won the students Picture of the Year at the eighth annual Elkies.

“He's just taught us so much about painting, and it's so much fun to help him out,” Josh said Friday night.

Their film “Paint the Town” was judged best in show by a panel of judges at the Sequim Education Foundation's film festival, which was open to students in the Sequim School District.

Josh is a junior, Stephen and Kyle are sophomores, and Daniel is an eighth-grader. Seventh-grader Luke Silliman, a fifth member of the team, was not present for the awards ceremony.

Along with the hallowed Elkie trophies, the students will divide among them a $3,000 scholarship from the foundation. Each also received $100 cash.

The coveted People's Choice Award went to “Bad Breath and Beyond,” made by sixth-grader Blake Wiker and senior Brendon Hudson.

Hudson also won Best Actor as an Indiana Jones-style gum chewer in the film. He celebrated his 18th birthday at the awards ceremony.

The two films were among the six student films, none longer than six minutes each, that were screened before a free-bubble-gum-chewing packed house at the Sequim High School auditorium.

The winning film depicted Sequim artist Kisena's passion for painting.

The teen room program coordinator at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula has helped students paint murals inside the clubhouse and talks in the film about his drive to stage a “legal takeover” of the city by painting murals for willing property owners.

Pulling in second place was the “T3 News,” a look at Sequim's different age demographics, produced by seniors Torrie McIntyre and Tristan Tosland and sophomore Tenille Tosland.

Baggy pants

The film revealed that the city's residents, both young and old, agreed teens wear their pants too baggy.

The trio won $2,250 in scholarships, divided equally among them.

Youngsters Damon Little, sixth grade; Garrett Little, first grade; and Kaylee Dunlap, fifth grade, shared the $1,500 third-place scholarship for “The Quest,” a trailer about an upcoming thriller feature film.

Kaylee's performance in the flick earned her the Best Actress nod, the youngest actress ever to earn the esteemed award.

“Biomimicry,” by seniors Ian Jones and Derek Chamblin, and “Mucielago,” by junior Angela Bentley, shared the OPUS Award for Environmental filmmaking, sponsored by the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society.

Jones and Chamblin also took the award for best sound.

The original poster for the eighth film festival, which was designed by Kelly Bluthenthal, 13, sold for $165 to a mysterious and consolidated group of bidders at a mid-Elkie auction.

Proceeds from the evening's gala, which included a pre-show spaghetti dinner in the cafeteria, benefit the Sequim Education Foundation's scholarship fund.

For more about the foundation, visit


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: April 24. 2013 12:56AM
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