SHS student gets opportunity of a lifetime at film festival


Zyaire Coles

Alyssa Morales attended and participated in the Sundance festival to get the full experience.

Zyaire Coles, Staff Writer

An SHS senior recently had the unique opportunity to participate in one of the most exciting film festivals in America.

Stroudsburg High School’s very own senior Alyssa Morales attended and participated in the Sundance festival to get the full experience. The festival was held from January 20-30.

The Sundance Film Festival is a festival that displays upcoming films and promotes upcoming producers. The Film Festival began in September of 1978. Many famous movie producers got their start from attending the Sundance Film Festival. First-time filmmakers send their films to the film festival to be witnessed and to be enjoyed by others. Different genres, different effects, and different people come together to enjoy each other’s work. There are also provided events to help the producers gain production skills and increase their chances of success.

Morales applied to be a part of the festival in July. It was a big surprise to her when she got chosen for the experience. There is only a 4.2% acceptance rate in the U.S. for getting chosen to participate in Sundance, according to

“I chose to sign up for this festival because I’ve been watching it and following it since I was a kid,” said Morales. “It was always a dream of mine to someday be involved.” 

Due to COVID-19, Morales helped with the festival over Zoom calls. She helped organize the festival and even got to see early versions of the released films. There were early morning talks about the films and even talks with the producers of the films.

Morales did not submit a film, but she did make one. Her film was inspired by a drive with her father through Milford, PA. She has been working on her film since sixth grade and is continuing to this day.

My film is about a girl and a guy who are best friends,” said Morales. “She leaves her hometown and goes on a cross country road trip to find her twin flame and she battles with self-love and independence.”

To sign up for the Sundance Film Festival in 2023, go to and apply.