Senior Anjini Azhar has won a prestigious Award of Merit for Best Short Film from the IndieFEST Film Awards. The award was given for Anjini’s exceptional short film, “Third Option.” The film was originally a project for her year-long internship at Foundry10, but later skyrocketed into a full SAG production and was sent off to festivals. “Third Option” features a fresh, strong cast, driven crew, and an important story line with a crucial 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.
Anjini explained how her 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. 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. As for Big Picture itself, both the project-based learning and faculty were a push to my desire 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. 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 Foundry 10, 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.”
Not all of her internships were related to film. Anjini explains how those experiences helped her get to where she is, “After my internship at the Seattle International Film Festival, I decided that I wasn’t quite ready to leap further into film because there were some skills that I wanted to gain from being in the professional world. Other than the artistic side of things, being a director is all about communication and collaboration. From pitching to a production company, to working with your cinematographer and actors, these skills are crucial, and I wanted to have some practice. I was lucky to get an internship at Waggener Edstrom Communications, a marketing, security, and PR firm for companies such as Microsoft and T-Mobile. At this internship I learned key communication and strategic skills, not just in marketing but in a professional setting. This helped me conduct myself in my freelance filmmaking and in my current internship, where I work with clients to create corporate and commercial videos.”
You can watch “Third Option” below or on Vimeo.