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Current events, social justice focus of film fest winner

The criteria this year was to tell a story including the message, “It’s different now,” and to incorporate art...

When considering events that have shaped her generation, senior Quiana Wade thought of the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and of U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015.

She included images and messages about both events in her first-place-winning video for the student Mosaic Film Experience Mobile 2018 competition. She was recently awarded $1,000 for the piece. She was also a Top 10 finisher in the contest last year.

Mosaic Film Experience is a film festival for commercial and jury selected works focusing on under-told stories. It was founded in Grand Rapids in 2012.

The criteria this year was to tell a story including the message, “It’s different now,” and to incorporate art.

“The first thing that came to my mind was things that happened in society,” said Quiana, an advance video production student at Wyoming High School.

Mosaic Film Experience Mobile high school winners and finalists also include:

  • 2nd place – Mariah Barrera, City High School
  • 3rd place – Alyssa Dodd, Careerline Tech Center


  • Irene Kuperus, Careerline Tech Center
  • Yailine Palomo, Wyoming High School
  • Willy Vernom, Kelloggsville High School
  • Kyla Kerridge and Halle White, Rockford High School
  • Kalil Adams and Jayden Burgen, East Kentwood High School
  • Morgan Westrate and Lara Johansen, Byron Center High School
  • Sergio Sepulveda, Innovation Central High School
Wyoming High School senior Quiana Wade is the first-place winner in the Mosaic Film Experience Mobile 2018 competition

Quiana’s video starts with the narrative: “Being younger than now, I didn’t have to be aware of the things that happen around me, but it’s all different now.” It continues, including images and illustrations representing Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGBTQ community and diversity.

She used an iPad to create the video, recording her siblings, friends and her own drawings.

As an African American, she said she’s personally been affected by racial prejudice. She also has friends in the LGBTQ community who she supports.

Quiana said she believes film is a great way to share perspectives and get people thinking. “Perspective is a big thing when it comes to understanding what people go through,” she said.

Quiana plans to major in film production in college, possibly at the Art Institute of Atlanta, in Georgia.


SNN article: Film festival encourages critical viewing

SNN article: Film award boosts would-be director’s dreams

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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