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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Excellence in College Prep


Congratulations to Finn Norman '19 for receiving two nominations in The 2019 National Student Production Awards. These nominations are for "Pseudo," a thriller shot at Associate VP of Buildings and Grounds Mr. John Goers' homestead with a team of seven other IB film students last fall, and Finn's eight-minute condensed cut of "Labyrinth," St. Ed's award-winning short documentary of a collection of interviews in which women throughout Greater Cleveland share their experiences with misogyny, sexual harassment and assault. The Foundation of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), an organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television, just announced this year's nominations for The 2019 National Student Production Awards' 24 programming and craft categories. Finn's two submissions were judged by a select group of industry professionals and media academics.

"Throughout his junior and senior years, Finn was a force of nature in our Film Production classes," says Associate Dean of Academics and IB Coordinator Mr. Nick Kuhar. "Again and again he demonstrated his ability to lead in traditional ways by taking initiative and generating stories for our original films, or commanding the attention of a small crew of young filmmakers, as well as in quieter, more nuanced ways. What sticks with me the most though is how doggedly he pursued a strong cut for 'Labyrinth.' He put in an additional four to six weeks of work to finesse the details before submitting to NATAS, and that's after dedicating an entire semester to co-producing it."

"Finn was a standout student who started his film career at St. Ed's as a sophomore in Digital Cinema I. He came to us as an incredibly thoughtful student and good writer, and he really showed what a technical thinker he could be when he took IB film," says Film Department Chair Ms. Lydia Munnell. "In our department, narrative and collaboration are everything. And as much prowess as Finn showed with software by the time he graduated, the qualities that make his work stand out are still his understanding of story structure and his incredible care and professionalism in interpersonal matters. I'm so proud to have his work representing our school."

Over 100 national finalists were culled from 2,000 submissions across the country, placing Finn and his fellow Edsmen filmmakers in the top 5% of young filmmakers in America. "It's incredible that Finn had both of his submissions go all the way to this last round. It's really tough to get there," says Mr. Kuhar. From here, Finn's nominations will face off against four other finalists for the National Student Production Emmy in the Short Form Fiction and Public Affairs/Community Service categories. Recipients of The 2019 National Student Production Awards will be announced on November 1, 2019.

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