Xavier senior awarded for short film


Isabelle Soriano

Senior Isabelle Soriano holds her 2nd place trophy. She was recognized for her short film “Mercy” in the Arizona State Student Film Festival.

Isabelle Soriano spent months of planning for her original short film, but her ideas did not come together and she did not know what she was going to do. Then one day on a school night a new idea came to her and she wrote the script for “Mercy” all in one sitting. 

 The next week she found her crew and actors, and they worked on the filming and editing process for the following two weeks. The film was complete by December 2019.

Soriano, with the help of others, filmed on her phone and edited the film using iMovie. Her two-year editing at Xavier experience came in handy.

Soriano got into film her 8th grade year. “I always thought filmmaking and movies were really cool and the stories behind it are really what intrigued me.”

Her passion for film grew and as Soriano said, “It came more to fruition at Xavier.” 

When Soriano started at Xavier there was a video arts class taught by one of her favorite teachers, Frances Ward. Ward was one of the first people to encourage Isa to pursue film and submit to the Arizona State Student Film Festival. 

The protagonist of Soriano’s short film is a girl named Mercy who is the “daughter of Death.” However, Mercy is not what one would think the daughter of Death to be.

Mercy is a bubbly teenager who likes bright colors like pink. Her name is Mercy because she decides who lives and who dies when accidents happen. The film follows Mercy and a girl named April Moor, who is deciding if she wants to stay dead or come back to life. 

After all of Soriano and her team’s efforts there were still complications due to Covid-19, which set back the film festival. The festival is set to happen in the spring every year, and it was supposed to take place in April 2020 but due to Covid-19 it was cancelled.

The festival finally began operations in October and was officially held in November of 2020. Isabelle and her team, after the months of hard work and dedication, placed second in the festival.

“I need to give my friends as much credit as they deserve. I would have gone nowhere if it weren’t for my actors and my crew, who are all my really good friends. A labor of love to all of my friends, Yolo Olguin, Regan Williamson, Ciara McGarry, Sammara Estrada, and Jordan Baker.”