Ben Senior wins Best WTF Film at film festival

Greg Harris Film Festival showcased student films

The 11th annual Greg Harris Film Festival commenced on May 1 at the Wilmette Theatre. Named in honor of former English teacher Greg Harris, the festival showcases one to six-minute films made by current students.

Awards were presented to a handful of movies at the event, ranging from Best Dialogue to Best Editing. Senior Ben Senior received Best WTF Film.

“Winning Best WTF Film definitely felt fitting since it is one of the strangest projects I’ve worked on, but I think that the audience reaction to my film is more important to me than the awards, and seeing the audience slowly transfer from laughter to unease is always exciting to watch,” said Senior.

This was Senior’s second year at the Greg Harris Film Fest, but he said the variety and quality was better this year than last.

“Personally, I think the lineup of films was better than last year. We had a lot of different types of films from many different kinds of filmmakers, leading to a much larger variety than last year. I think every film I saw at the festival was unique in its own way. As far as the awards go, I know that the festival organizers try their best to give every film some recognition, and I think they definitely accomplished that this year,” said Senior.

As for his personal endeavors, Senior is currently working on two films — one as a producer and one as a producer, writer, and director. The first film is written and directed by sophomore Robbie Petrie, and Senior has had to take a different approach to solely producing rather than being involved in all the stages of a film’s creation.

“Working as a producer is difficult because you have to balance what the director wants and what can realistically be accomplished,” said Senior. “I love the process because I feel like the work I’m doing is worth something.

Senior’s other film is titled “The Fall,” and is much larger in scale. The film is about a young man named Michael who meets a girl named Evie while taking the train home from school, and how their relationship evolves as they both discover what they want in life.

“The film is loosely based on my personal experiences, but I wanted it to be a kind of universal story that everyone can understand,” said Senior. “We’ve been shooting the film since September of 2018, and as the school year comes to a close we’re moving into distribution. We’re planning to have a premiere in early August at the Wilmette Theatre and release the film for purchase on Amazon Video later this year.”

The release date for “The Fall” is undetermined, but is expected to be announced over the summer. Senior is heading to Syracuse University next year and is unsure of what his next project will be, though it will probably be smaller in scale.

“I plan to keep making films until I die, so I’m sure I’ll have another project in the works soon, but for now I’m focusing on completing The Fall. Most likely my next project will be something smaller and simpler, because making a feature film isn’t exactly a walk in the park,” said Senior.