Zoe Knighton, a junior student from Redwater High School, received Fourth Place in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) State Film Festival recently held in Austin, TX. She is now headed to compete at the Student Television Network National Convention in Long Beach, California in March.

Knighton’s journey to the state level award began in November 2022 when she developed her idea for a video documentary to be submitted to the UIL Film Competition in January 2023. With over 800 entries, Knighton made it through the Semi-Finals as one of the Top 17 documentaries. Her video was then judged for Round 2 where she earned placement in the State Top 6.

Her documentary,“Shelli Calicott – A Daughter’s Perspective,” tells the heartbreaking story of a mother diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer as seen through the lens of her youngest daughter, Kaylee. Given only two months to live in 2013, Shelli was a warrior who survived until September 2019.

“I wanted to have a story centered around a Redwater High School student which would inspire and move people and be told from a different perspective,” said Knighton. “The story of Kaylee’s mom was a perfect choice. Through the production of the documentary, I learned more than I had ever known, to never take life for granted and that family matters.”
In winning Fourth Place in the state competition, Knighton shared that she honestly did not expect the documentary to advance to the state level. However, her best memory was the opportunity for Kaylee Calicott to be able to join her as the film played on the big screen at the premiere. “Having Kaylee there and listening to the viewers responses, I suddenly realized that my video did what exactly I wanted…inspire and move others.”

Knighton is the daughter of Rochelle and Kelly Knighton. She hopes to attend Baylor University and major in Broadcast Journalism. Other awards Knighton has received this year include: First Place in Video Feature Story and First Place in Broadcast Story from the Texas Association of Journalism Educators and Third Place on Spot Feature during the Academy of Scholastic Broadcasting 4-State Video Competition.

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