CHS senior’s film earns Heartland award


Carmel High School senior Justin Park has a mission when he gets behind the video camera.


“I like telling stories that other people can relate to, whether it comes from narrative fiction or a documentary about a real person,” Park said.

Park’s film, “Kara Deady: The Pole Vaulter” was the Indiana Documentary Winner in the Heartland Film Festival’s High School Film Competition. The film is one of four up for the grand prize for the high school division, which will be announced Oct. 21. The winner will earn $2,000. The Heartland Film Festival started Oct. 12 and ends Oct. 22.

“It actually was a school project for my TV class,” said Park, who does work for CHTV and runs the school’s filmmaking club. “This project was the one I worked on the longest and the hardest, because I wanted to make sure the end project would be the best quality it can be.”

Park followed Deady in practices and meets in the process of making the documentary. The short documentary is a little more than three minutes. Deady explains her training process and how she started pole vaulting.

“I had usually attended something more related to performing arts because I was more interested in that,” Park said. “I wanted to try a sporting event and filming one. I attended a track meet just to film the event. I thought of the possibility of getting some very cool shots of what (Deady) is doing. She was extremely talented, too, so I thought it would be worthwhile to make a film about her. The interview is played as a narration.”

Deady, now a senior, finished second in the pole vault in the state high school track and field meet last spring.

“Everyone was impressed with the outcome, so I thought why not send it to film festivals?” Park said. “Being recognized in a film festival is something I always wanted to achieve. Seeing how it did at Heartland, I want to submit to other, different festivals.”

Park was born in Korea and moved to China when he was five and lived there for 10 years before coming to Carmel.

“I’ve wanted to be a director for quite awhile now,” Park said. “When I moved to Carmel freshman year and started taking TV class is when I got (serious about) exploring the field.”

Park isn’t sure where he wants to go to college to major in film.

“My main thing would be wanting to be close to the industry, Los Angeles and New York,” Park said. “Austin (Texas) is another main hub for filmmaking.”

The documentary, which had one screening already, will be shown at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 20 at AMC Traders Point 12 and 1:15 p.m. Oct. 21 at AMC Castleton Square 14.