Student film featured in New York City


Garrick Bateman

Maelstrom featured Megan Bean and Grant Deluca as the leads.

Karen Manley, Editor-in-Chief

Garrick Bateman
Garrick Bateman was the only Fossil student who attended this year.

On October 5, the annual All-American High School Film Festival kicked off in New York City. The event entailed three days of panels, workshops, and hundreds of film screenings, among them Fossil Ridge High School student Garrick Bateman’s film “Maelstrom.”  

Inspired by the #MeToo movement, the film follows a uniquely complicated relationship. Bateman explained, “it’s a dystopian take on sex trafficking. I wanted to write a story about a romantic relationship with a power dynamic. What if the world had gone completely downhill and it wasn’t like a traditional relationship but a relationship where one person owned the other person?”

Going into the festival with a film displaying such a topic, Bateman felt apprehensive, saying, “I’m excited to watch it with other people but also nervous because other people will get to watch it and judge it. It’s showing a bunch of people who don’t know you your art. I like it a lot, I think [the film] is pretty good but then I’m going to get there and everything else is going to be better than it.”

The festival receives over two thousand entries each year from forty countries and every state in the U.S.This year, John Oliver and Eli Roth, both huge names in the industry, were judges. “It’s kinda cool to think that they’ve seen it and I kind of wonder if they liked it or not,” said Bateman.

During the festival, the showings took place in the AMC Theaters in Times Square. Bateman has shown films at Fossil’s Films on a Shoestring festival, and enjoys the atmosphere. “There’s a cool feeling about sitting in a room and watching your film with a bunch of other people. It’s this weird electricity where you know everyone in the room is feeling the same thing that you are,” explained Bateman.

However, the All-American High School Film Festival was exponentially larger than FOASS, and the environment reflected that. “It was a pretty insane atmosphere. Very high energy and lots of kids from all over the country and some from outside of it,” said Bateman. “It was pretty frequent creativity stimulus just being surrounded by all these young artists and professionals.”

While Maelstrom didn’t make it to the Best of Fest showings, Bateman felt the festival was still a success, saying, “We represented really well and stood out as having a unique voice. At the showing we received a very warm response and a round of applause.”

Bateman reflected, “It’s mostly just very inspiring the sort of creative community our generation is fostering. The diversity in projects was astounding and if we keep nurturing and encouraging the arts we’re going to be really spoiled with incredible filmmakers and storytellers in the future.”

The film, “Maelstrom,” can be found on YouTube on Alexandre Shappell’s channel.