TKHS Filmmakers Named as Top 10 Finalists

Four Thornapple Kellogg High School filmmakers recently learned they are top 10 finalists in the Meijer Great Choices Film Festival. The film festival has six different categories with top 10 student-created public service announcements honored in each category.

Finalists will be honored during an online reveal of the top three PSA entries in each category at noon May 20  on the Meijer Great Choice website at

Prizes for the top three placings in each category are Meijer gift cards of $1,500 for first place; $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Each of the remaining places fourth through 10th places will receive a $75 gift card.

Earning top 10 placings are Lena Braasch with “Diversity;” Jalen Oliver with “Fish For a Solution, Not Trash;” Ali Faiz with “Good Character Traits;” and Grace Densham with “Alphabet Diversity.”

The top 30-second public service announcements were selected from among more than 300 entries this year. With four top 10 placings, TKHS was among the top traditional high schools earning a number of honors.

High school teacher Jerry Robinson said having four entries in the top 10 is an impressive accomplishment for the district. The only other traditional school with as many top 10 entries is Byron Center.

According to the Meijer Great Choice Film official website, the goal of the festival is to encourage youth to become engaged in today’s challenges of building character, celebrating diversity and promoting healthy living.

The project is to create a 30-second public service announcement identifying a problem and demonstrating a solution. Students use critical thinking, writing, technical and creativity skills.

Meijer joined in the development of the Film Festival and has funded the project since its inception.  Legacy Partners for the festival are the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Chemical Bank, the VanderLaan Family Foundation, the Van Singel Fine Arts Center in Byron Center which serves as the festival coordinator.

 Film entries are delivered to Michigan colleges and universities with film and media departments. The department heads and students donate time to judge the submissions based on various points including originality, technical skills, message and more. Colleges serving  as judges this year are Ferris State University, Cornerstone University, Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University, Northwood University and Compass College of Cinematic Arts.

The winning PSA/s are all added to a master DVD and mailed to every school in the state for use with character, diversity and health programs.