Mustang Report wins at Fire Reel Film Festival

Ike Edmondson, writer

Although Sachse flamed out at the Fire Reel Film Festival, with only one win in the Video Announcement category with the ‘Mustang Report Christmas Special,’ students gained valuable experience while working on their video entries.

“It feels great that our hard work has been worth it, you know?” Mustang Report anchor and senior Kennedi Patterson said. “After all of this time, it is finally getting recognized.” 

The GISD Technology Department produces and promotes the annual event. The festival is open to all grade levels and is a way for GISD students to express their creativity in filmmaking. Entries are divided into 10 different categories, then split up by grade level.

“I believe this is important because it is a chance for GISD to celebrate its young filmmakers, and it gives them a place to display their work,” digital design teacher Paul Hawkins said.   “This is just one of the things that sets GISD apart from other districts because they celebrate all activities that happen at school.” 

Students learn about aspects of filming when competing in the festival.

“It’s amazing because if you film something, you get so smart and get so good at it,” sophomore Holly Hawkins said.  Holly submitted a cooking segment under the Weekend Challenge category.

North Garland High School took home the flame with several wins in different categories along with the top award, the Fire Reel Award.

“I am super proud of all our film students during a year with so many ups and downs,” Paul Hawkins said.  “The great students of SHS are the only constant thing. I am satisfied that all my students did their best in a quarantined year.”

Junior Alicia Pfeifer entered several of the different categories.  She said she was most proud of her Public Service Announcement entry.

 “For my PSA, ‘Oh It’s Easy,’ I made it to raise awareness for mental disabilities that aren’t always visually apparent,” Pfeifer said. “I am content because I did my best.”

Fire Reel Film Festival Winners

Film of the Year: Only Friend by Stefon D Chatman

Animation: The Committee of Mask_Wearing People by Jocelyn B. Truong

Comedy: Bro Pizza by David Samuel Moreno


  • Elementary: Arsema – Arsema Lemma 
  • Secondary: COVID-19: The Real Opposition by Ethan T Druck 


  • Elementary: Gerald and the Frozen Race by Corey A. Thomas 
  • Secondary: Only Friend by Stefon D Chatman 

How I Spent My Time in Quarantine: What I did In Quarantine by Carrington Mackenzie Haynes

Public Service Announcement: 

  • Elementary: Be Like Nelson Mandela by Erik Linden Steele 
  • Secondary: The Myth of the Tortured Artist by Valerie G Shockley 

The Weekend Challenge 

  • Elementary: The Soup-O-Matic by Corey A Thomas 
  • Secondary: Blanket Blues by Ivy K Nguyen and Ashika I. Khan 

Video Announcements: 

  • Elementary: Armstrong Morning Announcements 
  • Secondary: Mustang Report Christmas Episode – Sachse High School 

People’s Choice Award: Be Like Coretta Scott King by Grace N Andrea

Fire Reel Award:

  • Elementary: Kimberlin Academy for Excellence 
  • Secondary: North Garland High School