Marshall High School student’s documentary wins UIL state championship

‘Gone’ was selected as winner at this year’s Young Filmmakers Festival

SAN ANTONIO – A local high school senior is making his mark in the film industry and hopes to inspire other teens along the way.

“I got a camera, got a microphone and that’s it. And I just went and filmed,” said Kyle Ward, a senior at Marshall High School.

Ward created an award-winning documentary last year.

“It’s about a story that’s been untold, as well as a story that’s pretty complex,” Ward said.

Ward created the film called, “Gone.”

“Which is a short film about the conflict of development and farmland up in Austin, Texas,” Ward said.

Ward completed “Gone” in 2022 and says the characters were unique and captivating.

“You have the dad, who was the harsh reality of like his farmland actually viable,” Ward said.

The documentary’s different elements attracted judges at the University Interscholastic League’s Young Filmmakers Festival.

“We got to state and at the moment I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not going to win. I don’t think I’m going to win.’ And so they announced third and second I was like, ‘We’re not going to win.’ And then we got first and it was crazy experience. Kind of surreal,” Ward said.

“Gone” was the state champion in the 6A documentary category at this year’s UIL Young Filmmakers Festival.

Ward has gone on to win other awards for the film.

“It’s really an awesome opportunity, because it feels like you’re being heard and you’re being supported,” Ward said.

Ward’s passion for film started during the COVID-19 pandemic. After doing virtual learning, he would use his free time to learn about filmmaking.

“I would hop on Youtube and actually teach myself through Youtube videos,” Ward said.

Ward has a message to students wanting to go into the filmmaking industry.

“No matter if that’s doing stuff for studios or doing stuff for festivals or making films, getting involved is the best thing that they can do because they get their foot in the door,” Ward said.

Ward graduates this school year and is applying to some of the top schools across the country. He hopes to produce feature films in the future.

About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.