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State-winning screenplay written by John Adams HS student begins production

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Before the pandemic began, Adam’s High School senior Sam Villagra-Stanton was focused on staying on top of his homework.

“I’m in a film class and I wanted something kind of like of Edgar Wright, where a student breaks into different parts of the school and does stuff you wouldn’t expect,” Villagra-Stanton says.

But, little did he know his next written assignment in his IB Film class would turn into a state winning screenplay.

“It was like a prank, my mom actually pranked me. Two guys say, ‘Hey, is Sam Stanton in here.’ And I look around am I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ They’re like you won and I’m like no way,” Vilagra-Stantion explained.

In a 2020 competition hosted by professional film company Pigasus Pictures, Senior Sam Villagra Stanton placed first with his written Screenplay “Renegade”.

Vilagra-Stantion says his joy turned into disappointment last summer when he found out production for his screenplay had to be delayed.

“The pandemic definitely through a wrench in these plans,” Vilagra-Stantion says.

However, despite the long and unexpected wait, Vilagra-Stantion’s screenplay “Renegade” is now hitting production a year later in the very halls he walks through every single day.

“It is off the charts. I never seen a production that happened like this in South Bend and I’ve never scene equipment like this in person in my life. I’ve learned more just from this in my first day than any other film program that I’ve done,” Vilagra-Stantion says.

As a born Chilean, Sam says his goal moving forward is not only to continuing writing award winning screenplays, but to do it in a way that can help aspiring students just like him.

“I’m originally from Chile. I came here when I was 2 months old. In my film-making I want there to be a focus on what it means to be Latinx and creating opportunities for people in this industry who are Latinx,” Vilagra-Stantion says.

Once production and post production are completed, Vilagra-Stanton’s state winning screenplay “Renegade” will be submitted to film festivals all across the country.

Vilagra-Stantion is expected to attend DePaul university in Chicago next year.

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