Lights, Camera, Action! Student Film Awards celebrate success 

The talented filmmakers in Harlingen CISD’s Media Arts and Communications Academy celebrated their hard work and dedication last month.  

The students participated in the 9th annual Student Film Awards. While the awards are usually held in-person, this year’s ceremony was held live on Facebook.  

Harlingen High School South Senior Sergio Hernandez, who earned an award for his music video production, has grown passionate about audio and visual production because of his involvement in the Media Arts and Communications Academy.  

“At the MACA, there’s nobody to hold you back, and I’m a creative person so I have no boundaries as to what I can do,” Hernandez said. “To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I was going to win the award. I was surprised.”  

Hernandez plans to attend the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to continue his studies in the communication field.  

“I’m super proud of myself and all of the friends that won, everyone who helped me, and all of the other people who participated too. It was amazing,” he said.  

His classmate Illary Rocha, a Harlingen High School South Senior, also plans to study communication and media either at UTRGV or Texas A&M Corpus Christi.  

“When I entered Harlingen South’s audiovisual class, I liked it. I found my passion for editing and film,” she said, noting that she can see herself owning a production company in the future.  

HCISD certified teachers at the MACA have taught Rocha, Hernandez, and others about production, filming, editing, and storytelling. The students enjoyed putting their skills to use at football games during the fall of the 2019-20 school year.  

The MACA brings together students from both Harlingen High School and Harlingen High School South. This has allowed them to work together for a common cause and has fostered teamwork and collaboration.  

“I like the environment. Everybody just connected instantly from the beginning of the year,” Rocha said, noting she is grateful for her teacher Ms. Pat Guajardo. “Ms. Guajaraddo is very helpful. It’s cool because we get to learn what it’s like to work in the TV and production industry.”  

Rocha and her family watched the Student Film Awards ceremony online. Together, they enjoyed watching her films as well as others.  

“The whole virtual presentation was different, but it was also pretty cool. It still made my day, and I was excited,” she said.  

Both Hernandez and Rocha extended a congratulatory wish to their classmates for all their hard work and creativity during the school year.  

“I’m super proud of myself and all of the other people that won too,” Rocha said. “It was amazing.”  

9th Annual Student Film Award winners:   

Best Drama – Cynthia Garcia MACA 

Best Sports – Cassandra Luna San Benito HS  

Best Horror – Illary Rocha MACA 

Best Music Video – Sergio Hernandez MACA 

Best Comedy & Best Action – Sabrina Lugo MACA 

Best News Package – Amelia Barrera MACA 

Best Cinematography & Overall – Illary Rocha MACA 

Best Actor – Wesley Schaeck – Cano Academy 

Best Actress – Amelia Barrera MACA 

Best Editor – Amelia Barrera MACA 

Best Director – Abigail Garcia MACA 

Best Education – Bethanie Galvan MACA 

Best Documentary – Cassandra Luna San Benito HS 

Best Highlight – Amelia Barrera MACA 

Best Stop Motion – Kimberly Palacios Gladys Porter ECHS 

Congratulations to all the winners! 

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