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    Friday, May 17, 2024

    Salem teen’s film wins L.A. Indie Short Fest honors

    From top left, “Slings and Arrows” director/co-writer Aiden Rodgers and co-writer Cora Muschinsky. From bottom left, actors Arden Yale and Patrick Conaway. (Submitted)
    A scene from Aiden Rodgers’ movie “Slings and Arrows” features actors, from left, Bo Davidson, Patrick Conaway, and Arden Yale. (Submitted)

    Aiden Rodgers of Salem has won an award from Indie Short Fest, a Los Angeles-based international film competition.

    He was given the Outstanding Achievement Award (Young Male Filmmaker) for his six-minute film “Slings and Arrows.”

    Rodgers is a senior at East Lyme High School.

    The movie was based on a piece Rodgers had already written. He and one of his best friends and consistent co-writer, Cora Muschinsky, worked up a viable script. The idea was that the film would serve as a portfolio piece for Rodgers’ college admissions. When it was done, though, he also submitted it to several film festivals.

    The Indie Fest emailed him about his award. Rodgers says at first, “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool. But I’m already writing my next thing.’”

    But now he says, “It’s pretty dope.”

    The story of “Slings and Arrows”: In the wake of a nuclear bomb, three teenagers debate how their lives should end. The characters are played by Patrick Conaway, Bo Davidson, and Arden Yale. The film was shot in Conaway’s basement.

    “My thought going into it was that it would be kind of a psychological thriller, and at times it attempts that. But I think it reads more as a character study/drama,” Rodgers says.

    Rodgers says he has always been a writer and has enjoyed making videos since he was a kid. Asked how many other movies he had shot before this one, he says, “I’ve got to be honest with you — fat goose egg. This is my debut.”

    Rodgers announced his win on his Instagram account, which is dedicated to his creative pursuits.

    “Whenever I announced that I did something (on the account), I always do it in kind of a jokey way. Their first reaction (to the film fest award) was, ‘Is this real? Are you messing around?’ I had to be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, we won. For real.’”

    Since this is a technical category, there isn’t any screening of “Slings and Arrows” in Los Angeles.

    Owen Rodgers, Aiden’s cousin who is finishing up his film scoring degree at Berklee College of Music, did the score for “Slings and Arrows,” and Emerson Cole was director of photography.

    Rodgers also mentioned his vocational and technical teachers over the years, saying, “A lot of the technology teachers of my youth were the ones who helped me out a lot getting to learn how this medium works.”

    He says he’d love to be a screenwriter or director. He figures he’ll keep doing what he’s doing, with hopes of attending film school “and see what happens.”

    “Slings and Arrows” is on Rodgers’ YouTube channel, atrodgers.film.

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