Woodrow’s International Baccalaureate film class. (Photo courtesy of Gus Arenas.)

For centuries, Paris has been a moveable feast for unknown writers and filmmakers hoping to make a name for themselves in the artistic world. In January, International Baccalaureate students at Woodrow Wilson will have the chance to cut their teeth in a global film competition.

Ten students from the IB film class will compete against schools from China, Brazil, France and Qatar in a three-day competition called Clash of the Titans. Students will attend workshops to improve their skills. Then they will be challenged to create a film in 48 hours. Judges will evaluate the films and select a winner.

“We have the ability to compete and be as successful as the other IB programs, but our class is just focusing on the experience and the opportunity to go to Paris,” senior film student Gus Arenas said. “It will be amazing to interact with students from around the world.”

With little funding from the school, the class needs help from the community to attend.

The competition director was hesitant to admit Woodrow, but film instructor Michelle Briggs submitted student work and convinced him that her students would work diligently to prove themselves.

(Photo courtesy of Gus Arenas.)

“I know we might not be the most qualified there, but we will for sure be the most motivated and enthusiastic,” Briggs said. “We just need the funding so they can have the opportunity. For a lot of these students, this will be their first time to experience anything like this cultural exchange.”

Although there are about 30 people in the class, only 10 will get to go to Paris, Arenas said. Students must complete an application that includes an 800-word essay, teacher recommendations and an optional short film.

The class needs $8,000 by Nov. 1 to pay for deposits and flights. The rest can be submitted before December.

As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, 17 people had contributed about $1,000 toward the $15,000 goal. Donations can be made here.


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