Abby Johler Named Finalist at Force for Good Film Festival

Freshman year, Abby Johler discovered a passion for filmmaking in Han Kim’s video storytelling class. She helped lead the freshman Spirit Week video project and discovered that the hours of editing flew by because she enjoyed it so much. After asking Mr. Kim where she could learn more, he guided her to a summer film festival, the Force for Good Film Festival.

Hosted each year by the University of Notre Dame, the Force for Good Film Festival was created to encourage high school students to use their personal cell phones as creative tools by making short films with positive messages. Students are invited to enter their short films and one winner receives a scholarship to the university’s two-week intensive film camp.

Abby was one of 150 entrants and her short film, “Brain Bully,” was selected as one of the 20 finalists that were shown at the festival this past August. Her film highlighted one girl’s journey to overcome low self-esteem.

“I know that in our generation we are constantly comparing ourselves to others,” Abby says. “‘Do I have as good of grades as him?’ ‘Why am I not as pretty as her?’ There is a voice in everyone’s heads that feeds them lies. With my film, I wanted to try to display to people what the average girl in my generation deals with inside her head.”

Abby went on to attend a film camp at the University of Tulsa after the festival. The camp was a fast-paced week of pitching ideas, writing scripts and shot lists, filming, and editing. Westminster sophomore Isabella Trost also attended the camp and co-produced the film, “Are You There?“, with Abby.

Now a sophomore, Abby is looking forward to increasing her film knowledge and experience.

“I am planning on co-leading the Spirt Week film project for my grade again this year and I hope to possibly make some sort of advertising video in the future,” Abby says. “I love stories so I will probably try to also make another short film.”

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