RECAP: 2017 Mosaic Film Experience Event

The Mosaic Film Experience uses the platform of digital media to provide students with an opportunity to tell their unique stories and equip them with the critical thinking, collaborative, and creative skills necessary for career preparedness. One way we achieve this is through our annual Mosaic Event, an annual, interactive experience that provides youth with access to industry professionals through career-inspiring workshops and guest speakers.

On November 8 and 9, 2017, more than 1,000 West Michigan high school students descended upon the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the 2017 Mosaic Film Experience Event.

This year we were once again joined by Phillip Boutte, Jr., an LA-based Costume Concept Artist who has worked on Black Panther, Inception, Hunger Games, X-Men, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Phillip shared his unique story and encouraged students to follow their dreams, be punctual, finish what you start, and never give up.

We were also joined by Ryan Stephens the Associate Producer of Queen, Sugar. As a native of West Michigan, Ryan shared his personal journey to show-business and the importance of staying connected.

Actor Sammy Publes who has performed in Batman vs. Superman, Empire, and Robert De Niro’s STONE, gave students insight into how he went from being homeless to a career in acting.

Following the keynote presentations, students participating in breakout session workshops facilitated by local professionals including Lady Ace Boogie, Gorilla Pictures, Not-So Starving Artists, Ferris State University, Ryan Stephens, Motivity Pictures, and Midwest Tech Project. Topics ranged from game design, shooting a music video, and designing virtual reality, to post-production, podcasting, animation, and music production.

The event concluded with a film screening and award ceremony for the 2017 Mosaic Mobile™ film contest, an annual mobile film competition for high school and college students where films are shot, edited, and entered on mobile devices. Mosaic Mobile is about challenging the conventions of storytelling. With technology leveling the content creation playing field, our focus is on how students can use today’s tools to tell original and engaging stories. The following elements must be used within student’s films:

Theme: Tomorrow
Prop: Letters
Saying: “Why Not”: These words must be spoken or used in the film

Congratulations to our 2017 winners:

  • First Place ($1,000) – “A Short Film: Tomorrow,” Mariah Barrera, City High School
  • Second Place ($500) – “Wake Up, Xian Castillo,” Careerline Tech Center
  • Third Place ($250) – “The Rhythm of Tomorrow,” Braeden Harmelink, Brendon Mrozinski, Zoe Frick, Lauryn Rhodes, Scott Sheets
    Rick Wilson Student Choice Award ($250, based on public vote) – “Why Not Make it Better?,” Allison Riley, Careerline Tech Center
  • Honorable Mention – “Issues,” Molly Vance, Briza Castillo, Calum Goodman, Noriajha Hatchett, Desmond Scheelkruger, Grand Rapids Montessori


  • First Place ($1,000) – “Picture This,” Celia Harmelink, Grand Valley State University
  • Second Place ($500) – “Tomorrow,” Justin Thompson and Nick Buwalda, Compass College of Cinematic Arts
  • Third Place ($250) – ”The End’, Spencer Allen, Calvin College

Rick Wilson Student Choice Award ($250, based on public vote) – “Henry,” Bryce Thomas, Grand Valley State University


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