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High School IPR Student Enters EDU Film Festival

In a post-apocalyptic world, zombies roam aimlessly looking to feed on the living. What makes this world not-so cliché is a love story.

“I like to think that the video is about finding love in a bad situation,” said Joe Hegle, a junior at Mounds View High School and who is now an IPR student through High School Advantage. “I try to express that in a comical way.”

joe hegle, ipr student

Joe Hegle pitches his story idea during screenwriting class at IPR

The short film is called “Zombae,” with “bae” referring to boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s a rom-com of sorts. The storyline starts with Hegle and a friend walking down a sidewalk, only to come across zombies. There’s a lot of blood and zombie-killing action, but in the end, Hegle falls in love with one of the living dead. As you can imagine, things don’t end well for the love-struck teen as “zombae” satisfies her hunger for human.

The 4:22 video was produced by Hegle and he’s submitting to the 2015 EDU Film Festival which will take over Showplace Icon Theater in St. Louis Park on May 15th. The film festival is in its eighth year and has nearly 130 entires. Only 60 of them will be shown during the festival. It’s also Minnesota’s only school sponsored film festival, featuring short films written shot, edited and scored by high school students.

Hegle said this is his first film festival and he thought it’d be a great opportunity to receive critique on his work and improve his skills. The idea to enter the film fest was planted by associate dean of education and digital video program chair Trey Wodele. Wodele is also the founder and executive director of the EDU Film Festival.

“I’ve seen the quality of the work we receive improve every year and the big part of that has nothing to do with a festival but a big part also does,” said Wodele. “It gives both the instructors and students opportunity to network and compare and contrast and aspire to bigger and better projects.”

Wodele said it allows students to connect with industry people. It’s also an opportunity for students to go from a high school film maker to a college student or young artist. This year, students will get a chance to meet the best of the best Minnesota filmmakers, including Jack Reher – the screenwriter of ‘Grizzly’ and Matt Cici – star of Jonathan Demi produced ‘The Center’.

Hegle’s passion for filmmaking is evident in his YouTube channel where you can find dozens of comedy sketches, cartoons and other videos. But the real proof of passion is his commitment to film by attending IPR as a high school student through the High School Advantage scholarship. The scholarship allows high school juniors and seniors to take an IPR course for up to seven quarters. It covers up to $1940 per quarter.

“I decided to attend the attend IPR as an HSA student when I was touring the campus and my representative told me that if I were to start in high school, I would be able to get credits done in advance and have more time to work on future projects when I go full time,” said Hegle.

This is his first term at IPR. Hegle said he’s able to find balance between high school and college by taking one class a week at IPR. He’ll be graduating from high school in 2016. Thereafter, the young film maker said he plans to finish his degree in digital video and media production at IPR.

“I hope to someday be creating my own films and even have my own production company.  I’ve always wanted to direct and write my own material for the public to see,” said Hegle.


As for Zombae, Hegle said it’s helped him get a sense of the challenges behind film making. It takes time and coordination to find actors and makeup artists. Makeup alone took three hours. The shoot itself took an hour and a half.

“I learned that the more people you work with, the harder it is to keep everyone on track. In the end I believe the video turned out how I wanted it to, if not better,” said Hegle.

Thanks to sponsors, the EDU Film Festival is entirely free to enter and attend. Deadline for entries was April 15th. To find out more about the EDU Film Festival, visit:





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