South alumni awarded for short film Free Time


Sarah Park, asst. news editor

South alumni Omar Shoreibah, Tommy Casey, Noah Collins, Michael Cunningham, and Josh Patt won the Short Form Fiction award for their video Free Time, and Shoreibah won for Film Editor at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for the National Student Production Awards (NSPA) in November.

 Shoreibah described the production of Free Time as a group collaboration, with over 25 students on the crew. For Shoreibah, winning the NSPA awards was an unforgettable experience. He dedicates his success to his TV and Film classmates and Julie Benca, Director of South TV and Film. 

“[Winning] wouldn’t be possible without the help of my classmates and the [TV and Film] program,” Shoreibah said. “To have our work recognized for Free Time was amazing because that project means so much to me, everybody that worked on it, and the program as a whole.”

For the editor reel, a collection of editing works he submitted to the NSPA, Shoreibah included a compilation of the projects that he felt best showcased his editing talent. The reel consisted of sports videos made for South’s sports assemblies and mock commercials, he said. 

The short film Free Time, originally produced for South’s Variety Show, tells a story of how three students discover the repercussions of time travel. It was also played at the Pickwick Theater on Nov. 26 in recognition of its accomplishments, senior Sara Khan said. The idea of the time travel aspect for Free Time originated from an early morning brainstorming session, Patt said.

“It was a Saturday or Sunday morning, and we were struggling to come up with an idea when somebody in the back of the room just mumbled about time travel,” Patt said. “The more we thought about it, the better the idea became, so we developed it into Free Time.”

Khan, who worked as a writer on Free Time, explained the painstaking process of writing the script for the short film.

“It’s really hard to work a [simple] story about time travel without dealing with the little intricacies of the laws of time travel,” Khan said. “[The laws are] really simple [in Free Time], but all the thought that went behind making the story as obvious and clear as possible while still being fun and entertaining was difficult.”

Khan cherished seeing South students watch Free Time at the Variety Show. 

“There is nothing better than seeing [the audience] laugh along with the jokes that I wrote in the writer’s room and get amazed when they see somebody time travel [in our short film],” Khan said. “The laughs and gasps in the auditorium were the most amazing part of playing a role in this.”