Whitman junior elected president of Tryka Film Coalition


Senior Sophie Isbell (right) interviews Melissa houghton (left) and Carletta Hurt (center) of Women in Film and Video during a Tryka Film Coalition meeting. Isbell served as Chief of Staff for Tryka this year, and several Whitman students have been appointed to the executive board for the coming year. Photo courtesy Tryka website.

By Sydney Miller

The Tryka Film Coalition, a local youth filmmaking organization, recently announced its executive board for the 2018-2019 year, which includes several Whitman students in top positions. Junior Aubrey Lay will serve as President, junior Urban Seiberg will serve as Director of Public Relations and sophomore Gwen Arbetman will serve as the Shots Editor.

The film coalition, founded in 2014 by Whitman student Sam Dodd (‘15), aims to provide real-life experience and connections for Bethesda-area students interested in aspects of filmmaking, from acting and directing to sound editing. The organization holds monthly meetings in which guest speakers talk to students, and students working on film projects are able to talk to one another and find people to join their project.

Lay has served on the board for the past two years in the area of development, first as  deputy director and then as director. He says he looks forward to embracing his new responsibilities as president.

“As president, I’m really excited to not just do the general things like overseeing operations and making sure meetings are happening, but also to do things like making Tryka as welcoming as possible,” Lay said.

Gwen Arbetman has been a member for a year and is looking forward to the coming year.

“I’m really excited for this year because of our new board,” Arbetman said. “We all work really well together and that’s especially good because Tryka is growing so much.”

The board’s general plan for the coming year is to schedule more guest speakers, especially women in film. Lay also mentioned he was looking to expand the coalition’s internship program to get more members working in the film industry.

Senior Sophie Isbell, who served as Chief of Staff this year, says she’s encouraged by Tryka’s development and sees a bright year ahead for Lay, Arbetman and the rest of the new Tryka leadership.

“I think Tryka has been growing a lot this year and I can’t wait to see how much more it grows next year under the new board,” Isbell said. “I know all the kids on the board this year are just going to continue doing amazing things with Tryka.”