Congratulations to Big Picture School Senior Anjini Azhar for winning a prestigious Award of Merit for Best Short Film from the IndieFEST Film Awards.

Azhar’s award-winning short film,“Third Option” was originally a project for her yearlong internship at Foundry10. It later skyrocketed into a full Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) production and was sent off to festivals. “Third Option” features a fresh, strong cast, a driven crew, and an important story and message. In the film, protagonist Ellie K., struggles as she lives, submerged in the dark world of an eating disorder. The message of the film surpasses eating disorders and its awareness; it is that human beings are vulnerable. The film dives into the vulnerability of the protagonist, a simple, everyday high school girl.

Azhar’s Learning Through Internship experiences at Big Picture supported and contributed to her desire to make films.

“My internship before creating the Third Option that was closely related to film was at the Seattle International Film Festival,” she said.  “Seeing all the submissions and creative pieces was a huge push for me to actually get up and start making my own content. My project was to write and film a small promotional piece for one of SIFF’s programs; I was excited to wake up every morning and go to my internship to work on this piece, which helped me confirm that creating was really what I wanted to explore.”

Big Picture’s project-based learning and staff also inspired her to make films.

“I always had an opportunity to create media pieces as final project formats for classes, which motivated me to do something bigger,” said Azhar.  “At the time of my internship in September 2015, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I had gone through two other internships and wasn’t really positive where to go next. My advisor, Kaarina, told me to apply for Foundry10, where I should just make my own short film as a project. She told me in the world of film, the only way to start your career is to start creating. That was a huge push to my desire to make film. I applied right after speaking to her and had the best time making my first film. My experience with Third Option made me excited to do more, so I am currently working on my next short film which will also be going to film festivals.”

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.