Local student wins screenplay competition

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A local high school student is taking his work to the big screen after winning a competition held by Hoosier film company, Pigasus Pictures. Production had been put on hold for the film due to the pandemic, but after months of delays, they were able to create a set safe enough for students to live out their dreams.

It might only be 14 minutes long but for Samuel Villagra-Stanton seeing his screenplay come to life is not only a professional accomplishment it’s a personal one.

“This is a script I wrote it’s insane and especially getting to work with professional equipment, professionals working in the industry, it’s all a dream come true," said Villagra-Stanton

The John Adams student wrote the screenplay titled ‘Renegade’ as part of a class assignment during his junior year.

He later decided to enter it into a competition hosted by Pigasus Pictures - an independent film company based out of Bloomington - but never thought it would amount to this.

“I know South Bend isn’t the best place to make a film career happen, but it shows that there are people willing to make those opportunities happen if you just put yourself out there," said Villagra-Stanton

The competition now in its fourth year has not only been fulfilling for those looking to break into the industry, but it's also allowed John Armstrong, Co-Owner of Pigasus, to do what he loves in his home state.

“I’m a Mid-Western guy and I really wanted to come back home to Indiana and when we had the opportunity to start making movies here my first goal was let’s find young people and get them engaged and get them involved," said Armstrong.

While this is Samuel's first professional experience in the film industry he’ll be taking his talents to DePaul University in Chicago next fall.

“My goal is to work as a director with a focus on what it means to be Latin-X growing up in the united states and embracing my Latin heritage," said Villagra-Stanton.

The movie completed filming on campus today and is expected to be released this summer.

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