Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Ellen Purl, pictured in 2023. Photo Credit: Flight Yearbook
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Humans of Central: Adam Freed

Communication Arts teacher Adam Freed got press credentials for The Chicago Film Festival. His website is moviearcher.com. (Photo courtesy of Adam Freed)

I had a press accreditation for the Chicago Film Festival this year, which was really cool. I got to see a lot of things before they came out. But just the access to some of the films and filmmakers [was awesome]. There weren’t as many actors that were there this year because of the strike which is now resolved.

It was during COVID that I started putting thoughts on paper. I’ve always watched movies my whole life. I was the kid who would go to the video store, and my mom would be like “You have thirty minutes, but we can’t be here longer than that,” and I would have a stack of VHS tapes. So I’ve always watched movies. I’ve always loved movies. I’ve taught film to her for 16 years. But I started putting thoughts to paper during COVID and what I would do is like a one paragraph blurb and I would just text it out to people who I know like movies. And then a couple of teachers here encouraged me to find a place to house all of those. So last year during spring break, my family and I didn’t get to go anywhere, and I had all this downtime, and I’m just not great with sitting around. So I was like, “You know what? I’m just gonna get on Google Sites and start playing around.” I did and then that motivated me to want to fill that space. I just did that more and more and more. I already had some 2022 reviews that I had saved on Google platform that I kind of started my [journey with]. I went from initially 10 reviews, and [now] I think I’m up near 70.

All of the film festivals involve a pretty serious application process. Chicago in particular [has] an initial interest Google form that you fill out. They then looked through [the Google form] and contacted me again. They were like “Hey, we’re really interested but now we want more samples. Choose three [reviews] that you’re really proud of: one about independent cinema and one about diverse filmmakers.” I’ve always studied film diversity, so I was able to share what they wanted. Apparently they liked what they saw, because they got back to me and they’re like, “You’re in.” So it was cool.

I was always the kid who would read Entertainment Weekly. I was always reading other people’s film reviews and then to get to meet some of the critics that I grew up reading, it was just a cool experience.

[The film festival] has a very intense schedule. There are some organizations—for example, Rogerebert.com, named after the best film critic of all time, have like 50 employees running their website, their online marketplace, and all of these things, and I’m just me. So when I get there and I see a team of five from Rogerbert.com, they divide and conquer so they leave no stone unturned. [Whereas], I have to pick and choose. I have to kind of keep my ear to the ground, [and] I have to read a little bit of advanced stuff that comes out of [the film festival] Sundance and try to make educated guesses as to what I need to see. There were some [films] like “Poor Things” that were a no-brainer.

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About the Contributor
Javen Oswald, Marketing, Outreach and Engagement Managing Editor
Javen Oswald is a senior at NCHS. This is his third year on staff, and he has moved into a manager position. Early in life, Javen found success as a child actor, gaining recognition for his role as Young Jordan Denton in Chicago Fire S2 E12, entitled “Disco Bob.” Now, he has shifted his focus to producing high-quality journalistic opinions. Next year, he plans on going to college to study film.
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