West Bend Talent Included in Lake Country Film Festival Lineup

By Justin Scherzer, Current Staff

Three future film directors may currently be walking the halls of the West Bend High Schools.

Featured in the Lake Country Film Festival were films by East senior Lindsay Kramer, West junior DJ Koehn and West junior Kelsey Will. Kramer earned runner-up honors in the short film category and Koehn was runner-up in the experimental piece category. Will had a video presented in the photomontage category. All three attended the festival April 5 at the Oconomowoc Arts Center.

The Lake Country Film Festival is an annual showcase which features submissions from students living near the Lake Country Area. It is a red carpet event which selects a total of 42 films ranging across eight categories.

This was the first film festival that any of the three WBHS students has been featured in. The submission of the film was part of an assignment for the Advanced Video Production class. Although many students submitted pieces, Kramer, Koehn and Will were selected for the event.

“The festival was really neat to attend,” Kramer said. “It was especially cool to see all the other to see all the other films students had made as well.”

Kramer’s film “Raising Stakes” is a fictional piece on the subject of sex trafficking. Kramer was excited to share her work and hopes it helps raise awareness for an important issue.

“It’s about a high school athlete when she packs up from a track meet and runs into a familiar face that she won’t soon forget,” Kramer said.

Koehn’s film “Cyberknife or: ‘an exquisite corpse of bond’” is an experimental animated short dedicated to his mother. Koehn uses various and unique animation styles to create a distinct visual experience.

“It was pretty cool to be featured,” Koehn said. “I was only hoping to get in so that people could see and hopefully enjoy my work.”

Will’s’ photomontage features various sites from her trip to Guatemala and Belize. Will was excited to use her photography as a method of sharing her amazing experiences.

“The trip was one of the greatest things I have ever done,” Will said.

Previously Kramer has helped work on a film called “Code White,” which is a short piece about mass shootings. After high school Kramer will be taking a gap year volunteering in Nepal and Thailand, but then plans to join the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s film production program and pursue a career in directing films.

Koehn has also made numerous shorts of different varieties in the past, many of which are available on his Instagram under the account name djkoehnn. He is continuously working on new projects and hopes to reenter the Lake Country Film Festival next year. He also definitely plans on pursuing a future career in film.

Will is dedicated to photography and also hopes to reenter the festival next year. She currently works as a volunteer photographer for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After high school she plans to attend a four-year university for a major in psychology and a minor in marketing. However, she hopes to continue with photography and video making as a hobby and as a volunteer opportunity.

(Photo courtesy of Kelsey Will.)

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