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Alpena teen wins student top honor at film festival

News Photo by Jordan Spence Alpena High School student Jack MacDonald shakes hands with Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Media Coordinator Stephanie Gandulla Saturday at the Maritime Heritage Center. MacDonald took first place and people’s choice in the student film competition.

ALPENA — After his win at the Thunder Bay International Film Festival Student Competition Jack MacDonald strives to pursue more in filmmaking. He is a senior at Alpena High School.

“It’s for sure what I want to do for my career,” he said.

MacDonald, 16, took both first prize and people’s choice at the competition. Kelly Cool of Stockbridge took second prize and Colt Gray, 12, of Alpena took third prize.

The theme of this year’s competition was “Sanctuaries Are.”

MacDonald’s film shows him and his dog Holly as they explore different areas of Alpena. He said he wanted to show off the natural attributes of Alpena for more people to explore.

“People don’t use what we have in this area,” he said.

He said he put a lot of hard work into the film and it took longer to execute than planned.

“I went out early in the morning to try and get a sunrise, but there wasn’t a good one for that,” he said.

He was glad to have Holly in the movie because she originally was the family dog that became his, he said.

There were eight entries for the competition this year with other students from Onaway and Scottville.

At the end of the showcase the theme for next year’s competition was announced and it will be “Exploration Is.” The theme was chosed by the student filmmakers.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.

News Photo by Jordan Spence
Alpena High School student Jack MacDonald shakes hands with Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Media Coordinator Stephanie Gandulla Saturday at the Maritime Heritage Center. MacDonald took first place and people’s choice in the student film competition.

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