Molly Smith, a junior at Montverde Academy, is a talented filmmaker and screenwriter who continues to demonstrate her ability to tell stories that engage audiences. In the past month she has earned a number of awards for her story-telling and film making abilities with her play, “God Bless America,” short film titled “I Don’t Know” and a commercial for Adidas® that she wrote, directed, filmed, edited.
With strong story-telling capability, Molly wrote the one-act play “God Bless America,” which earned her a Scholastic Gold Key at the regional level followed by a National Scholastic Gold Medal for Dramatic Writing in March. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their work to the world. Teens in grades 7–12 can apply in 29 categories of art and writing. Students nationwide submitted 340,000 original works this year. National Medalists receive certificates and medals and are considered for national exhibition, publication, and scholarship opportunities, including attending the annual National Events week of celebration in New York City at Carnegie Hall.
Her film work includes, “I Don’t Know,” a short film based on her revised award-winning screenplay “Words to Speak, Stories to Tell.” This film highlights Molly’s writing ability with gripping spoken word segments delivered by actor Samuel Isiah Hunter in a compelling portrayal of a teenager contemplating his past choices in deciding where he will go in the future. The other award-winning work is a spec commercial for Adidas® called, “Rules for Girls,” that examines past “rules” for girls contrasted with female student-athletes who are reimagining and redefining the “rules” for success.
Molly has also earned First Place at the Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Film in the Commercial category for “Rules for Girls,” and Third Place in Student Short Film for “I Don’t Know,” out of nearly 700 submissions. She also earned a Best in Show at Enzian Reel Short Teen Film Festival 2019, Best Florida Youth Film at the Bonita Spring International Film Festival, and a Best of the Fest and Best U.S. Narrative at the Lovett High School Film Fest for “I Don’t Know.”
“I am proud to make films that raise awareness and promote social change through art,” said Molly. “Film has taught me that I love telling stories, especially those that get people thinking about the world we live in. In “I Don’t Know,” I wanted to challenge the stereotypes that the world places on us, and in “Rules for Girls,” I wanted to highlight the power of women in sports.”
“We are extremely proud of Molly’s accomplishments,” said Dean Bell, Director of Arts at Montverde Academy. “The quality of her work is directly relatable to her passion for every facet of the process. In addition to her filmmaking skills, Molly is an awarded playwright, actress, musician, and technician – skills which she honed in programs at MVA. We are proud that our Arts program provides a cross-disciplinary approach; strengthening students’ skills in all areas and making them well-rounded in their approach to their individual Art.”