Reviewing the Miner Film Festival


Max Kushner, Managing Editor

The annual PCHS Miner Film Festival (MFF) was on Friday, May 13th, and was back in the Eccles Center for the first time in three years. This event is a way to showcase all the talented PCHS student filmmakers and actors, and in my opinion, was a pretty fun way to spend a Friday night.


The show was hosted by Ainsley Shaw and Grant Murray, two known personalities from the Miner Morning Show. These two had the job of introducing the various films and telling some jokes and stories along the way.


From superhero parodies to ski edits, the MFF had it all. Now let’s take a moment to review all these wonderful films.


“Goin Up the Country” by Ben Yaeger, Wes Campbell, Andrew Sweeney, and Eddie Slobodow 

The first film of the night was “Going up the Country” by Ben Yaeger, Wes Campbell, Andrew Sweeney, and Eddie Slobodow. This film was essentially a music video that followed two students as they left the high school and ventured up towards Guardsman’s pass. I thought this film was good overall and I enjoyed the variety of locations and the music choice.


“Bark” by David Burks and Alec Ethington

The next film shown was “Bark,” which was an artistic ski edit made by David Burks and Alec Ethington. I really enjoy getting to see all of the talented people we have here at the high school, and this film was another great way to showcase some amazing skiers.


“Petals” by Sage Adler

I’m a genuine hater of romance and romance stories, but the plotline of Petals was actually quite interesting and I enjoyed it. A disease that causes a flower to grow in your throat when you have a crush was definitely something I’d never heard before, so no wonder it won the award for “Best Original Storyline.”


“Skimming” by Zachary Minter 

This was a film I found to be quite entertaining. The concept was a guy jumping from channel to channel on a TV and there were various different segments that we got to see. I felt very entertained the whole time and was never wondering “when is this going to end?” My only thought besides how funny it was was: “Of course there is illicit stuff happening in the band hallway bathroom.”


“Awesome Man” by Chase Campbell

So when this film started, I was kind of worried about where it was going. The amount of times the words “daddy” and “put a shirt on” were used in the first minute or so was mildly concerning, but this preconception proved to be wrong. This film was up there as one of my favorites of the night. It was funny and clever, and to the kid who was running around main street in green spandex, I admire your confidence.


“Life is Happening Now” by Luke Berg

Luke Berg created another cinematic wonder, a fact which I’m sure surprises no one. A montage of beautiful shots and inspiring voiceovers paired perfectly in this film, earning it the “Maddux Award for Best Picture.” My personal favorite part was the behind-the-scenes shots at the end of the writing and filming; it was a funny and personal way to wrap up the film.


“Swimming with the Fishes” by Kelly Loverso

Beware: this film is based on true events. We have always accused Mr. Fish of rigging the student council elections and now we have a film on someone trying to prove it. (Fish we know you are doing it, just admit it already.) This film was entertaining and I have to say the highlight was definitely seeing Mr. Fish photoshopped into all the historical events (who knew someone could live for over 200 years?).


“Humphrey Dumphrey” by Erik Lund and Chase Campbell

So, if I’m being honest, I have no idea what happened in this film. It was very dramatic and this one kid is in everything. I somehow still thought it was good and entertaining, but I was a little lost, which I kind of feel was the point of it.


“The Investor” by Erik Lund

This film came on and the first thing that came to mind was “Why is this kid (James Kwan) involved in everything that has to do with investing?” Investment club? This film? The other film later on? I thought this film was funny and the little things like the American flag flask and transition music just made it even better.


“The Good, The Bad, and the Burger” by Andrew Sweeney and Ryder Bracht

This film was wonderful in so many different ways. The plot was clever, the shots and locations were amazing, and teenagers love a good 69 joke. This film won “Best Cinematography” and anyone who watched can clearly see why. On top of this, the music choice was excellent and it was a very pleasant and entertaining film to watch. I also love the idea of Subarus and Jeeps being cowboy cars (only in Park City).


“Dave Hates the Earth” by Chase McClelland

Another unique plot line hit the screen with this film. A guy who feels the need to destroy the earth is something I’d certainly never seen before, and everyone loves good character development. I will say that one of the funniest things in this film didn’t even have to do with the plot, but with the background of one of the shots. During the interview with Dave, a sliver of a poster read “When did you last see your father?” and had my entire friend group cackling. 


“Light Weight” by Isaac Adame 

This film was essentially a gym edit for Isaac Adame. He is a very impressive gym guy and I enjoy getting to see talented people do their thing. Those who know more about weightlifting probably thought it was even better than I did and would probably have a little bit more to write on this.


“Calendar Man” by Leon Marche and Alec Solden

Another cool superhero film came to life with the “Calendar Man.” This film was a Batman parody following a guy who believes he needs to take down Batman and angers other villains along the way. The concept was interesting, and I enjoyed the training montages and jokes. Also, who doesn’t love a good lightsaber battle?


“Vinny and the Boss” by Brent Allen Johnson

Everybody loves a good mob movie, and I am no exception, so it’s no wonder this film was another one of my favorites of the night. I thought the plot line was very unique and the accents in this film were kind of hilarious. This film won a few awards for the night including “Best Sound Design” and “Best Performance” which went to Brian Johnson. I overall thought it was very entertaining and good, though it did reinforce my opinion that men should never be allowed to wear tank tops (sorry Brent).


“To Catch A Prosper” by … an Anonymous filmmaker?

So this is a film I’m quite familiar with, as the “anonymous filmmaker” has shown me it on several occasions now. Its infomercial-esque concept is funny, and we love when people promote tax evasion (for legal reasons this is a joke). All I can say after watching this film is: why are teenage guys obsessed with cryptocurrency? 


“Alone Again” by Eddie Slobodow and Ben Yaeger

This film started out fairly calm and was a nice change of pace from the other films, or at least that’s what I’d thought until the plot picked up. It was definitely a story where you could see where the ending was going, but I actually liked that about it. I really enjoyed the shots and voiceovers so winning the award for “best editing” was fitting. I also love plots that end in everything being a dream; it’s always a good way to wrap things up.


“Atomic Number 8” by Maddie Lytle and Nina Ganyard

So I do have a little bit of a bias towards this one, seeing as I was an actor in it, but the parts I enjoyed the most were the ones in which I was not on film. The plotline was interesting and almost reminiscent of a “Lost in Space” type thing. I love how it doesn’t have a happy ending and the idea of a video diary film was pretty unique. I will say that the spaceship equipment setup we had was pretty cool (you’re welcome guys).


And with that, the night came to an end. Only 11 months and a few weeks until the next one, and maybe next year Subaru will realize that they should be sponsoring this event.

If you are interested in watching any of these films they can be found here on the PCHS Filmmaking youtube channel.