WATERVILLE — The character in Caroline Wheeler’s film, “Three,” lifts weights and then lines them up carefully, all in a row, not one out of place. Later, he sits in his high school classroom, not able to concentrate, his mind wandering to other places.

His teacher calls on him and he is jolted into reality.

Wheeler, 18, made the film about the character, Liam, as an exploration into the thoughts of someone who has obsessive compulsive disorder. She said she also hopes the short film will raise awareness about OCD and what life is like for someone who has it.

The film netted Wheeler, a Waterville Senior High School graduate, an honorable mention award in the 38th Maine Student Film and Video Festival, held Saturday at the Waterville Opera House. “Three,” starring Wheeler’s friend Liam Edwards, also a Waterville graduate, was shown as part of the screening of the Senior Division films, for students in grades nine through 12.

“I didn’t really know how competitive it was,” Wheeler said of the competition before Saturday’s screening. “I’m really happy.”

Her film was one of 44 entries submitted to the student festival, held as part of the Maine International Film Festival, and one of only 14 to be accepted and shown at the event. The student festival is sponsored by Maine Alliance of Media Arts, the Maine Film Center, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Adobe Creative Cloud.

About 100 young filmmakers, families, friends and festivalgoers attended Saturday’s event. They included David Boardman, a mass media communications teacher at Mid-Maine Technical Center who helps plan the student event; and James “Huey” Coleman, one of the student film festival founders.

The grand prize winner, Evan Hill, of Greely High School, entered “Others Like Us,” for which he received $500 from MPBN and a year of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Hill, Wheeler and other young filmmakers who were present for the ceremony Saturday stepped onstage to get their awards and answered brief questions about their films.

Wheeler said before the event that she used her entry for college applications and was accepted into several colleges.

“I want to go to film school to make documentaries,” she said.

First, however, she will attend Clark University, in Worcester, Massachusetts, to study international development and social change and possibly major in political science or sociology — topics she later hopes to use as part of her documentaries. Wheeler also wants to get a master’s degree in communications, she said.

“I’m not sure if I want to make my professional career filmmaking. … It would be awesome if I could,” she said.

Other area filmmakers whose works were featured at the festival include Drew Davis, 16, a junior at Maranacook High School in Readfield; Chris Motley, who attended Mid-Maine Technical Center in Waterville; and Calvin Holmes, of Messalonskee High School in Oakland.

Davis’ film, “DiRE,” is a short horror film about a man who is home alone, hears a strange noise and gets up to investigate. The suspenseful four-minute movie was filmed in a house in Rockport, according to Davis.

“I had watched a short horror film titled ‘Lights Out,’ from the Internet website ‘Bloody Cuts,'” said Davis, whose film was a finalist in the Senior Division. “It inspired me to create mine.”

He said he has always been interested in film and he and his father have spent a lot of time watching and analyzing them.

“I started making short films when I was 7 with a flip camera and iMovie. Since then, I have made a variety of short films, including a few past entries at the Maine Student Film and Video Festival.”

Motley’s film, “Serving the Future,” was a finalist in the Senior Division and is a documentary about the staff and students at Mid-Maine Technical Center who are part of a firefighter/EMT course and visited the World Trade Center site in New York City. Those interviewed in the film include Tom Savinelli, a course consultant and former Connecticut firefighter who responded to Ground Zero after the attacks, and course instructor Kerry Pomelow.

Holmes’ film, “Bass Case,” is about a young bass player who lives, breathes and dreams his musical avocation. The film received an honorable mention award.

The winner in the Junior Division — grades seven and eight — was the film “My Friend, Janna,” directed by Nathan Manaker, of Orono Middle School. The honorable mention winner in that division was “The Transforming Legacy of Malaga Island,” directed by Lydia Dustin, of Harrison Middle School. “The Dreambox,” directed by Henry Spritz, of King Middle School, and “A Short Story,” directed by Rose Cobo-Lewis, of Orono Middle School, were named finalists in the Junior Division.

“Lucky Numbers,” directed by Emma Shumadine, Skyler Neal, Daniel Souza and Liam Smith, of the New England Film Academy, was given honorable mention status in the Senior Division. Other finalists in that division were “Life from a Different Point of View,” directed by Mitchell Lisowski, of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School”; “Tidalwavse,” directed by Connor Smith, of York High School; and “Toy Soldier,” directed by Christopher Choyce, of Fryeburg Academy.

The Huey Award winner was “A Text from the Future,” directed by Daniel Rice, of Hampden Academy.

A student filmmaker’s reception was held at Jorgensen’s Cafe downtown after the screenings.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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