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Prague Youth Film Festival to Showcase Booker High Students’ “Into the Storm”

by Rebecca Abrahamson, VPA Coordinator & AICE English General Paper Instructor at Booker High School

SARASOTA COUNTY, December 13, 2019 – Booker High School’s acclaimed student-made documentary —“Into the Storm”— was selected to appear in the Prague Youth Film Festival, where it will be seen and adjudicated by industry professionals from around the globe. It will be screened as part of the festival’s opening night festivities at the U.S. Embassy.

The festival’s mission is to showcase and help nurture careers of “emerging filmmaking talents,” and it attracts thousands of viewers during its three-day span, from December 20 to December 22.

The film, created by the class of 2019 —Carol Fauls, Lindsey Jennings, Sydney Catalfino, and Kiara Harris— depicts the little-known story of the challenges of integrating the Sarasota County’s schools, through the narrative of the epic story of the 1967 Tornadoes basketball team. The team achieved an invitation to the state finals, won the championship, and returned home to discover their school had been closed. The documentary details the subsequent student-led protests that helped keep the school alive.

“Into the Storm” premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival in April 2019 with a special screening at the Municipal Auditorium, where it received accolades from those in attendance.

Jury members for PYFF2019 include American film producer Rick McCallum, British director Kirk Jones, and cinematographers Rene Richter (Germany) and Michael Seresin (New Zealand). The festival’s organizers are Paul and Petra Ratner, who respectively also are the Director of Education and Outreach and the Director of Operations for the Sarasota Film Festival. Pavlina Saward is festival co-producer.