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Kids' films ready for prime time in Tampa

Beginning at 10 a.m. on July 6, the Education Channel will show 16 films made by students in Tampa schools.

By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 28, 2002

TAMPA -- Tune in to the cable Education Channel on July 6 to see the work of young filmmakers from Tampa schools.

Film, video and animations by students in kindergarten through 12th grade will air as part of the ninth annual Independents' Film Festival.

For Time Warner basic cable subscribers, that's Channel 18.

"Some are animated, some more like a documentary, some fictional, some are on a specific topic," said Laura Tierney, marketing director for the Education Channel.

The station typically airs the work of older students and adults. This time, it worked with elementary, middle school and high school children.

"We let their media specialists make the final choices," Tierney said. "They received hundreds of entries in their media festival and judged them first, second and third place. We accepted just the first place winners."

The first film, The Most Terrible Experience, airs 10 a.m. on July 6. The dramatic video was written, directed and edited by Johanna Parrales, 17, a senior at Alonso High School in Town 'n Country.

Austin Stevens, an Alonso junior, helped write and edit the four-plus minute film.

"It's about a girl named Maria who writes a story about her mom dying," explains Parrales. "As her teacher reads it, the film flashes back to the murder. It doesn't show the violence."

A stranger follows Maria home and can be seen getting out of a red car. The next scene shows her mom fall to the ground. Maria hides under the bed.

Parrales created the film for her TV production class using school equipment. The cast includes her mother, Elena Astralaga, and sister Ana Carmen Santana, 8.

The other films, each less than 10 minutes long, will air in the following order:

On the Verge, directed by Eric Wallace (Blake High School).

Dragon's Morning Show -- Gasparilla Edition, by Amber Register, April Hutchinson, Bryant Smith, Jesse Ramirez, Katie Wasden and Gatson Harrell (Dover Elementary.)

Help Dover School, by Alexandria Sweat, Bailey Harrell, Laura Sweat and Gaston Harrell (Dover Elementary).

Future, by Michael Lucas, Ryan Rice, Megan Cochran and Bianca Rosado (Dover Elementary).

Kites, by Jessica Kenny, Luis Fernandez and Sarah Wetherington (Dover Elementary).

It's Party Time -- High School Style, by John Reichert and Rachael Pribil (Dover Elementary).

A Thoughtful Tribute -- From Florida, by Jessica Mooney (Dover Elementary).

The World of Pirates, by Spencer Johnson, Patrick Russon and Mikaela Watkins (Dover Elementary).

Saving Water is So Important, by Paige Rivers (Dover Elementary).

Cesar Chavez Rap, by Rodolfo Ramirez and Brittany Infield (Dover Elementary).

Reading is Everywhere, by Kayla Ikard and Katra Daly (Ferrell Middle School).

Cooking with Ashley & Sarah, by Ashley Arias and Sarah Foyil (Hillsborough High).

Man & Monkey, by Evan Yates (Riverview High).

Great Day, by Lauren White (Tampa Preparatory School).

Seven Seconds, by Michael Schutt (Wharton High).

The festival continues throughout July with more original independent films.

For a complete schedule, check the Internet at or by call 254-2253.

-- Staff writer Amy Scherzer can be reached at 226-3382 or

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Date: 6/28/02 Page: 10+


Headline: Building plans win honors


TOP DOGS: The Tampa Bay chapter of the American Institute of Architects has announced the winners of its annual design awards

Award winners were chosen from 30 entries that included commercial, residential and government buildings. Awards are given on quality, not for type of project, says Dawn Mages, executive director of the Tampa Bay AIA, and awards are given only if the projects are deserving. That means it's possible for no one to receive awards.

This year, four architectural firms were recognized, including two in Tampa.

A Merit Award went to Walton Chancy & Associates -- founded in 1989 in Ybor City -- for its design of the Hansen residence in Seagrove Beach in the Panhandle. Construction should begin on the 3,000-square-foot beach house later this year. The firm also designed the 16,500-square-foot Avila residence of former Tampa Bay Devil Rays first baseman Fred McGriff.

Holmes Hepner & Associates Architects received a Merit Award for the design of Anthony Pizzo Elementary School, which was completed in 1998. The $8.9-million, 952-student public school is located at the edge of the University of South Florida. Founded in 1992, the firm specializes in the design of educational facilities.

WILD LIFE: Construction has begun on Wilderness Lake Preserve, a 600-acre community in Land O'Lakes, just north of the Hillsborough County line in Pasco County. The centerpiece of the community is the 38-acre Wilderness Lake, where residents will be able to fish, canoe, paddleboat and wind surf using Wilderness Lake Preserve's equipment. Powerboats and personal watercraft will be prohibited to maintain the tranquil setting.

Developers promise other wilderness-themed amenities:

Wilderness Lodge, with its fireplace and lake-front verandah, will connect to recreation buildings via covered breezeways.

A nature center will have an outdoor area for youth-oriented environmental education programs, to be coordinated by Lowry Park Zoo wildlife experts.

Nature trails will connect docks to a boardwalk and fishing pier.

Many of the home designs, priced from $110,000 to more than $500,000, include rustic architectural elements, such as front porches and wood beams. Model homes at Wilderness Lake Preserve should be open in September.

THE MIRABAY EIGHT: MiraBay, the much-anticipated waterfront community in southern Hillsborough County, has selected eight home builders to offer a line of what are being called "Florida coastal homes."

The builders are Alvarez Homes, Bayfair Properties Inc., David Weekley Homes, Hannah-Bartoletta Homes, John Cannon Homes, Morrison Homes, Nohl Crest Homes and Sabal Homes.

Homes at MiraBay will start at $200,000, including land. For more information, visit

-- Write to Janet Zink in care of the St. Petersburg Times at 1000 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33602; or by e-mail,

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