ALAMO – The PSJA Memorial Early College High School Film Team was recently named the 2017 State Champions in the UIL Young Filmmakers Documentary Division II category for their tribute documentary For Gomez. The film was inspired by the legacy of longtime theatre director Robert Gomez, Jr. who passed away from cancer in September of 2016.
The UIL program was created by The University of Texas at Austin to provide leadership and guidance to public school debate and athletic teachers. Since 1910, UIL has grown into the largest inter-school organization of its kind in the world with competition categories ranging from academics and athletics to theatre and music.
According to Gabriel Ramirez, PSJA Memorial ECHS Theatre Director, this experience has been special for his team as they have paid tribute to Gomez in every performance. Gomez was a Valley native and a former theatre director for PSJA Memorial. During his tenure, PSJA Memorial had the distinction of taking students to the state finals for the UIL One-Act Play competition seven times.
“This entire year has been dedicated to his memory,” said Ramirez. “This was the ultimate homage to the man himself. It’s not just a win for our program, but for our community that he was such a huge part of.”
Being named State Champions is the highest honor a high school student film can receive in the UIL Division II Documentary category.
“I am extremely proud of our students and staff,” said Juan Garza, Principal at PSJA Memorial ECHS. “This is an awesome display of the great work that goes on at our campus every day and shows that our Early College experience is not only of great academics, but of the outstanding State-recognized Fine Arts Department at PSJA.”
In addition to PSJA Memorial ECHS being named State Champion, PSJA North Early College High School also earned 4th place at State in the same category for their film Amazing Jacob. Both films are available for viewing on the official UIL website.