Films five minutes or less earn high-fives

From tough-to-tackle subjects like school shootings to tough-to-film concepts like time-travel and space-travel, the teen filmmakers from across the state continued their tradition of making short films that are surprising, thoughtful, funny and, as a group, more impressive every year.

This year’s Give Me Five showcase of RI teen-made films took place on Sunday evening, May 19 at the Historic Odeum Theatre in East Greenwich.

Films from the quirky to the incisive included an in-depth expose on the activities of uniquely Rhode Island superhero (and Motif contributor) Hope Man, a strongly composed tale of inclusion by students from the RI School for the Deaf, a one-shot extended chase scene from the French Connection school of chase scenes, an inspired stop-motion enhanced documentary about early civil rights activist Ida Wells and track short Dashed, about hopes and sprinting. Obsession, desperation, joy and music videos were also strongly represented among the 16 shorts that together formed an entertaining two-hour sampler set of film techniques and genres, capped off with a photoshoot of all the future filmmakers.


Work from the following schools was represented: Beacon High School for the Arts, Bishop Hendricken, Cardinal Spellman (adopted by RI for purposes of the festival), Chariho High School, LaSalle Academy, The Met School, New Urban Arts, Portsmouth High School, RI School for the Deaf, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts and Westerly High School.

The diverse evening was hosted by Robert Capron, Jr. (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Lilly Weisz-Nesshoever (Narragansett Pier Middle School), and each filmmaker ascended to the stage for a brief QA with panelists Steven Feinberg (RI Film & Television Office) and Emily Ohara (kids curator & creative producer at the Jacob Burns Film Center in NY). The whole evening was brought together by Maggie Anderson of the RI State Council for the Arts and a robust team of Give Me 5 volunteers.

Information on future festivals and educational programs can be found at, along with a selection of past films (this year’s films will appear there soon).