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Mikayla King's film wins award

Southwestern Michigan College student Mikayla King won first place in the seventh annual Coastline Children’s Film Festival Young Filmmakers Competition. King, from Quincy, garnered the accolade for “Friendship.”

“I was encouraged to partake in this competition by my favorite instructor. Last year was probably one of the hardest years for me for many reasons. So this short documentary (3:53) is a thank-you to the people who helped me heal,” said King, known in her circle as “Mik.”

She was flanked by her “mentors,” SMC instructors David Baker, Dennis Hafer and Bill Rothwell, at a red carpet-style awards ceremony at the Citadel Oak Room in Benton Harbor March 17.

The Bridgman-based festival boasts “10 days (March 10-19), eight venues (in Michigan and Indiana) and 100 sources of inspiration,” including full-length features, documentaries, silent classics and shorts.

“I filmed video of my friends for four months and finished in January,” King said. “Five of us were in a car accident. I don’t talk about it, so no one really knows. That bonded us even closer. There are other people, too. Our group is about 12 people who hang out.”

She’s known as a graphic-design major on campus, working part-time in the marketing office.

In high school she was closely associated with music, serving as the Orioles’ drum major during eight years in band playing bassoon and several other instruments, including flute, piano and alto and tenor saxophone.

She was editor-in-chief of her school newspaper as well as photo editor.

“I even did acting and drama” in Quincy, a village on U.S. 12 east of Coldwater in Branch County. “I tried a lot of things. I can’t do sports other than a little softball. I’m not athletic, that’s for sure,” she said.

King, who was also accepted by Western Michigan University, taught herself iMovie video editing by watching tutorials.

First in her family to attend college, King plans to take advantage of SMC’s new nine-week summer semester June 5-Aug. 2 by taking business and mathematics courses.

“I may want to do advertising or have my own photography business, creating logos on the side,” said King, who lives in arts-oriented Thomas F. Jerdon Hall. “I really like photography but I also really like making graphics.”

She submitted photography, typography, two-dimensional and drawing projects for the student art exhibit April 18-27 in room 108 of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus.