Three Juniors Receive Indie Memphis Youth Filmmaking Mentorship

Zoe Zerwig Ford ’23, Lacy Williams ’23, and Nyla Johnson ’23 will make a short film with a $500 budget and receive mentoring from a professional filmmaker.
The student filmmakers received the Indie Memphis CrewUP Youth Filmmaking Mentorship, which gives youth across the city a chance to make a short film and compete against other young filmmakers. Each team has $500 to assist in making their film and will meet with a professional filmmaker mentor at least twice a month throughout the process.

Zoe Zerwig Ford ’23, Lacy Williams ’23, and Nyla Johnson ’23 will write, shoot and edit an original film that will compete this fall in the Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest. They have divided up roles: Lacy will focus on camera work and directing, Zoe will be their main screenwriter, and Nyla will edit and oversee production design aspects such as lighting and wardrobe. All three girls said the process will be a new experience for them.

“This is a cool opportunity to venture out and do something different,” Lacy Williams said.

The group’s film must be no longer than 8 minutes. They plan to make something thrilling or suspenseful. Zoe said the team feels that is how they can bring the most to the screen with their time limit. Their professional mentor is Mars McKay, a local independent filmmaker. McKay recently completed a debut film and is participating for the first time in the Indie Memphis mentorship program. At the film festival, the team’s film will be judged by an out-of-town-jury. The girls said they are looking forward to seeing what they achieve.

“We’re excited to take what we learn from this experience and see how we can bring it back to Hutchison,” Lacy said. “This is just the beginning.”

Hutchison filmmakers have made a strong showing at previous youth film festivals. In 2019, Sara Kate Burnett '22, Callie Oehmler ’20, Mischa White ’21, Caroline Couch ’20, Eliza Kamara ’21, and Paige Patteson ’19 all competed in the Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest. Kamara, Oehmler, and Couch received various awards.
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Hutchison is the leading private girls school in Memphis for ages 2 years old through twelfth grade.