ALLEN, TX -- Students from Allen High School made it to the big screen. This weekend their work will be premiered at South by Southwest in Austin.
Two groups of students at AHS were selected as part of the Texas High School shorts competition for the work created in the advanced animation class.
"The very first day of the school year we started on this!" said AHS Junior Delaney Alexander. "It is called ‘Goin Nuts’ and it is about these two characters we made up. The bigger one being Dragosauer and the smaller one being Dragaroo."
Alexander directed the film with her team, juniors Hannah Barr and Elizabeth Boyce.
"We did have to come in on some Saturdays and spend the whole day working on it,” she said.
Hard work paid off. The animation was selected along with another AHS student animation called 'Out of Reach.'
‘Out of Reach’ was directed by AHS junior Max Wilson with his classmates, seniors Kyria Seitz and Brad Kowalski. It’s about an animator who can't quite reach his mug of hot chocolate.
"You're creating stories that no one ever heard of before,” Seitz said.
"In the meantime you're learning patience,” Wilson added.
This weekend both animations will show to an audience at the renowned SXSW Film Festival, where top industry professionals will be in the audience. It’s a chance for exposure and networking many would only dream of.
"They treat us as if we are one of the accepted feature films. We have publicity; we have all the things all the other films have so they're treating these kids, pretty, pretty great,” said Allen High School animation teacher Karen Adams.
Adams submitted the films from her class. The judges selected two from AHS out of 24 entries state-wide.
"There’s just so much recognition there. It's as though people are looking at 'here's our up and coming filmmakers' and they might keep an eye on them. There might be schools there that say 'hey, we would like to have you at our school,’” she said.
SXSW is highly regarded for showcasing independent artists from around the world, giving many their first big break.
"I'm kind of hoping to do this as a career path and it's been a passion for me,” Alexander said.
"It's just great to see something that can come out of your mind onto a screen and for others to see it, it's kind of rewarding,” Kowalski said.
The students left Friday and their films premiere Saturday at SXSW.