Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stamford teen wins award for film on Down syndrome

from The Stamford Times:
A Stamford senior has won a prestigious award for a documentary film she created about the impact of Down syndrome in people’s lives.
Erin Manning, a senior at the Convent of the Sacred Heart (CSH) in Greenwich, won a Silver Key Award in the film and animation category of the 24th Annual Connecticut Regional Scholastic Arts Awards for her documentary, “Unexpected Gifts.”
The Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards is the largest juried student art exhibition in the state."Erin worked for many months in spring of 2012 to prepare her documentary about the families of children who have Down syndrome," said Ellyn Stewart, Erin's teacher in the broadcast journalism program at CSH. "It is a testament to Erin’s strong spirit and compassion that the mothers and fathers in these families were incredibly honest and open with her about the ways that having a child with Down syndrome profoundly changed their lives."Erin interviewed families in Stamford and throughout Fairfield County for her documentary.She said that the documentary had a more lasting impact on her life than she initially anticipated.“I didn’t expect this topic to have such an impact in my own life,” she said. “I wasn’t aware of this community before producing this piece, but now I’m continuing to research this topic. Most recently, I chose Down syndrome as the topic for my Senior Seminar final paper.“So far,” she said, “my exposure to this topic has been on a local, personal level; however, through this paper, I will research and learn about the impact that Down syndrome has on the greater community.”Erin has been a member of CSH’s broadcast journalism program for four years, serving in various roles.She is currently executive producer of “Today from the Heart,” the school’s monthly news show.Last year, she won recognition for an animated short film, “Lightworks,” in the Greenwich Youth Film Festival and Westport Youth Film Festival.Broadcast journalism at CSH is an award-winning program that teaches students hands-on skills that transcend the typical classroom experience.Students learn writing, speaking and presentation skills while operating cutting-edge technology. Students in the class produce a news show, documentaries and other video projects.The students’ work culminates in a film festival each year.Visitors are welcome to view Erin’s documentary at this year’s CSH Film Festival on April 11 at 6 p.m. in the Lennie and John de Csepel Theater at Convent of the Sacred Heart, 1177 King St., Greenwich.

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