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Murray Students Tackle Filmmaking & Tough Social Issues - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Murray Students Tackle Filmmaking & Tough Social Issues

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Students at Murray High School in Albemarle County are getting a little taste of Hollywood, and they're tackling some very serious social issues at the same time.

A play that started as a simple English class project at Murray turned into much more. The students who created the play transformed their work into a feature film with a powerful message.

Trevor Przyuski is an educator and an amateur filmmaker. When he saw "Strings," he was blown away, and wanted to bring the show to the big screen.

"Within ten minutes of the play, I was so knocked out by the energy of it and the creativity of it and the courage of it," said Przyuski.

The play was written, produced and performed by 12 students. Their message is beyond their years. The students touched on substance abuse, homelessness and abusive relationships.

"It has to do with being tempted by like I guess bad things, bad influences and then finding your way out of them," said Page Grissom, one of the students in the class.

Przyuski said he was impressed with the students' ability to take on these sensitive topics.  "The way they took them on kind of poetically, with movement and color and dance," he said. "It was just such a unique expression."

He approached the principal and the students right away with the idea of creating a film. At first, he thought it would be a gift to the students as a way of remembering their work. But as they worked together to adapt the script and shoot the film, Przyuski realized the film had more potential.

After three days of shooting in the school gym and on the Charlottesville downtown mall, the play was an hourlong feature film. The students' teacher, Charlotte Wellen, submitted "Strings" to the Virginia Film Festival.

It's competing with more than 200 films from all over the world. The students will find out Friday if their film was accepted, but they say either way, they're proud of their work.

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