Columbia Film Festival


Available in 45d 07h 52m 55s
Available June 22, 2021 4:00 PM UTC
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Eight teenagers capture their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures for a school history project. The group includes YouTube vlogger Adrian, overachiever Reese, activist Kaelin, high-school power couple Lucas and Bailey, the outcast Mallory and escapist Zack. Each teenager copes with what it means to come of age during a global pandemic, finding moments of hope and connection in their isolation. How do we come together in a world where so much keeps us apart? Connect/Disconnect seeks that answer. Connect/Disconnect is an original devised film, written and created by Sehome Drama high school students about their experiences during the school closures and 2020 pandemic. 

Director Statement

Connect/Disconnect is a devised film, which means that all of the situations, characters, and dialogue come from the lived experiences of our students. In the Fall of 2020, a group of high school students came together on Zoom to reflect, write, and create this film. They wrote dialogue, designed costumes, planned and executed film shots, wrote original music, and more. As the director, I helped them find and use their voices so that they could share their story with the world. The story, however, is theirs.

This is a unique film for a unique period of history. All of our film shoots were done within COVID-19 guidelines. All interior shots were filmed by the individual actor inside of their home and exterior shots were filmed using social distancing and masking. Our cinematographers are two 15-year-old female students who believed in this film and the power of storytelling.

COVID-19 changed the lives of these students overnight, and this film is a response to that shared grief and loss. However, even in loss, we can find connection. Our cast and crew sincerely hope that, when you watch it, you know: even when the world is dark, you are not alone. You are never alone.

Director Biography - Kandace A McGowan

Kandace A McGowan is a Latina educator and artist who has been working with youth for more than 10 years in traditional classrooms, summer camps, community centers, and after-school programs. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a B.S. in Psychology (with an emphasis in Child Development) from Santa Clara University. After college, she spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with the homeless population in Seattle. She completed a Master in Teaching in Secondary Education from The Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. McGowan took on the role of Drama Director at Sehome High School in 2014. This is her first feature film.

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Kandace A McGowan
  • Screenwriter
    Sehome Drama students
  • Editor
    Lauralise McGowan