The Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Harlequin Film Team recently traveled to Austin, Texas for the UIL State Young Filmmakers Contest. It marked the first time a student film project advanced to the state-level competition from VMHS and Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD).

The film team animation “Francis” earned third place at the state competition. It was one of six advancing in Division 2 in the digital animation category. The powerful story has also garnered the project a nomination for the Nobelity Social Impact Award, for which was also a finalist.

The film was written and animated by Fabian Gutierrez. Original music is by Samuel Gonzalez and Fabian Gutierrez.

You can view the short film online at,

Pictured are Fabian Gutierrez and VMHS Theater Director, James A Hodgson; and Samuel Gonzalez with Hodgson outside the historic Paramount Theater, where the student film projects were screened as a part of the competition and film festival.