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ARTICLE Making Movies During Quarantine: From the High School of Art and Design

If you could make a film describing the current moment, what kind of film would you make? Would it be dark and upsetting? Light and full of nature themes? Would family loom large? Would screens abound?

This was the challenge posed to 10th and 12th grade students at The High School of Art and Design in New York City. Hanan Harchol, an artist, animator and filmmaker who teaches students at HSAD has been instructing his students remotely since the Covid-19 quarantine began, and has maintained a nearly 100 percent attendance rate.

“We conduct Google Meets every weekday for 50 minutes in which we watch, discuss, and analyze professional and student films,” Harchol said. “All students participate in the discussion and write their feedback on a shared Google doc. Each student must submit a pitch, preproduction package, rough draft and final draft. Every student has accountability and the class is fast-paced and engaging.”

Below is a sampling of the student films. They were all produced individually during the mandated quarantine period (as opposed to in groups as usual). The films range from public service announcements that address the pandemic to short experimental films that address student feelings during the quarantine period.


Elizabeth Maldonado (Senior)

Julia Pasato (Senior)

Carmine Romano (Senior)

Calvin Ryman: (Sophomore)

Asher Epstein (Sophomore)

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