Students Unveil Short Films at Queens Festival

Fifth-graders turned screenwriters walked the pink carpet at the premiere of their films on Thursday.

Students at P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights attended the screening of five short films they produced for this year's Queens Film Festival.

Thirty-two fifth graders with special needs participated in the effort by acting or writing for the films.

"This is a fifth-grade inclusion class, and the school doesn't always get to see them be the successful, the real very shiny ones. So this was a real opportunity to point at something and say I made that," said Katha Cato, the executive director of the Queens World Film Festival.

The students' work is the culmination of the festival's Young Filmmaker Program that started in September.

Students incorporated issues that they face on a daily basis into the film, including things like bullying and peer pressure.

"I'm very, very excited. Well. I was excited. Now, I'm just happy because I saw my movie and it went so great," said Wasi Genius, a student participating in the film festival.

More than 400 parents, students and teachers were in the audience for the screening.

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