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WOUB’s 2023-24 Our Ohio High School Documentary Film Festival winners announced

Megan Cheadle from Alexander High School has been named the first place overall winner in WOUB’s 2023-24 Our Ohio High School Documentary Film Festival. Cheadle produced a short documentary called "Out of the Ashes" about how her family’s Uptown Athens business recovered after a devastating 2014 fire. Cheadle’s film was one of 26 films from 36 filmmakers at Alexander, Southern Meigs and Nelsonville York high schools. Classes from each school worked with WOUB Public Media as part of the fourth year of the Our Ohio documentary film project.

The Our Ohio project challenges students to learn about and explore independent documentary film, Appalachian cultural identity, media literacy and multimedia storytelling. Throughout the course of the school year, the students worked with WOUB News Reporter Theo Peck-Suzuki and Documentary Filmmaker Chris Flanery, as well as Ohio University Associate Professor Brian Plow, to learn how to create documentary films.

“Each year the project brings us many different topics and styles, and we are pleased with how this year’s films were presented, and the variety of topics covered,” said WOUB General Manager Mark Brewer.

“Being able to tell your own story is powerful, but our region’s underserved communities struggle to find the resources to do that,” said Plow. “The Our Ohio program is committed to supporting these communities and their young people as they find their voice and learn vital new skills.”

WOUB’s Learning Lab works with the teachers to identify resources and activities that align with educational standards to support the project. The Learning Lab also has professional-level camera equipment available for participating teachers to check out for their student to utilize during the course of the project.

“We are excited to provide students with industry standard equipment to use in their video production for those who are interested,” said WOUB Educational Services Manager Deborah Brewer. “We also provide simple audio and lighting tools to help improve projects if they prefer to shoot their films on their phones.”

To watch this year’s winners and all the films submitted visit:

2023-24 WOUB Our Ohio High School Documentary Film Festival Winners

Best Overall: 

  • 1st Place: “Out of the Ashes,” Megan Cheadle, Alexander High School
  • 2nd Place: “The Story of Stuarts,” Claire Abraham, Kaylee Write, Trevor Orsborn, Nelsonville York High School
  • 3rd Place: “Married to the Game,” McKenzie Rudolph, Alexander High School

Honorable Mentions:

  • “Saving Lives,” Rachel Cheadle, Alexander High School
  • “Volunteer Fire Departments,” Isabella Klein, Southern Meigs High School
  • “Appalachian Rivers, Gryphon Thomas,” Southern Meigs High School
  • “Nelsonville Turns Over a New Leaf,” Lila Dishong, Nelsonville York High School

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June 10, 2024
Cheri Russo