The opinions expressed in these student films belong to the student filmmakers and do not necessarily express views of the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Senior Division

1st Place Senior Multimedia

Noelani Stachurski
Tallwood High School
Teacher – Ms. Kathleen LaRoue

My short film, Anagnorisis, shows an antithesis between my younger and present self. It takes the quote from Elie Wiesel, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented,” and this discusses it in the form of a single “moment of change,” hence the title of my film. Through the usage of separate actresses to represent my younger selves, I show that I had the moral courage to stand up for myself and for others, and was capable of combating my own injustices. However, the second half of my film shows a stark contrast. Using my present self, I convey a loss of my courage, the rise of unjust authority, and the result of others’ indifference. At the end of the film is the anagnorisis that follows. I am able to revert back to my former self and the film ends.

2nd Place Senior Multimedia 

Hayley Mayette
Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Teacher – Ms. Ellen Sullivan

Reflecting On The Past And Looking Forward To The Future
I made this video as a reflection on genocide and bystanders in the world, based off of the novel, Night, by Elie Wiesel. I believe it is important to inform others of the tragedy that occurs when someone is so evil as to choose to exterminate a race of people. In my video, I tell the story of Elie Wiesel and give an example of another modern-day genocide, the Rwandan genocide. I display pictures as I talk about the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, and how we can stand up against evil in our daily lives and not be bystanders. I believe it is important to stand up for what you believe in as a person. No one should have to feel afraid of showing who they really are and living out of the life they wish to live. I prove this point through my multimedia presentation, and I hope that one day others will agree.

3rd Place Senior Multimedia

Rachel McGraw
Tallwood High School
Teacher – Ms. Kathleen LaRoue

The Power of Speaking Out

I made this video to show that we can fix the problems we have created. It shows what happened in World War II because not enough people spoke out, and it shows what is beginning to happen now. The end shows many different people speaking out against injustice, both now and in the past.

Honorable Mention Senior Multimedia

Victoria Edlan
Tallwood High School
Teacher – Ms. Kathleen LaRoue

We are Human
In my short film, I wanted to show the impact that words have on people of all races, genders, and backgrounds. Kristallnacht was a night where language turned into violence. Presently, we still face many significant issues among society, such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender inequity, prejudice, and bullying. Many people hide behind a screen or even step out publicly to verbally abuse someone. This causes tension and fuels the fire to hate. Words matter and can stick with us forever. In this film, I presented examples of stereotypes and degrading language that can harm someone and how we can stand up to hate.

Junior Division

1st Place Junior Multimedia

William Roberts & Alvaro Herron
Lynnhaven Middle School
Teacher – Ms. Sarah Morrison

Venomous Speech
On this flash drive, you will hear and see the stories of some of the Holocaust survivors from the book, Light from the Yellow Star, by Robert O. Fisch. For our project, we read the stories and have a slideshow of pictures. Because we believe that the stories from the Holocaust are awful and affected the people greatly, we want to share their stories as a way of remembering. In one of the stories, we share that “humanity can be found in such a place like this” because of what random people did to help. We hope to encourage others to always look out for and care for humanity.

2nd Place Junior Multimedia

Anna Russell & Annie Mathews
Great Bridge Middle School
Teacher – Ms. Ashley Mansell

Tackle Out Hate Speech
During our time learning about the Holocaust, we learned about hate and prejudice, and how it can impact not only a continent but the entire world. In the world today, hate speech has become a significant problem. We chose to talk about how social media has become a platform for hate speech. Our video is a combination of narration and drawings that convey our thoughts about this topic.

3rd Place Junior Multimedia

Margaret Campbell & Abigail Seeman
Norfolk Collegiate School
Teacher – Ms. Jill Archer

Our video is a reflection on how the Holocaust and recent tragic events have impacted us and made us feel about our lives. We chose the Unite the Right Rally because it occurred so close to our home, and because it had many similarities to what happened in the Holocaust, especially on Kristallnacht. We reflect on how similar the two events are, both spurred on by hate speech, and how they both had similar consequences, though on different scales. In our video, we encourage others to try to live in the present, and not in the future, by cherishing what you have.