Student Films Spotlight Gen. Marshall

Eight students took home awards from the George C. Marshall International Center’s second annual Youth Film Festival, held Sunday at REHAU Inc.

The film competition had eight entrants from students in C.S. Monroe Technology Center’s film and TV production program. Students were tasked with producing films that highlighted Marshall’s global impact and the importance of the living museum created at his former home, The Marshall House, in Leesburg.

Edgar B. Hatrick III, former Loudoun County superintendent of schools and a member of the Marshall House Advisory Committee, commended the students for successfully capturing the kind of man Marshall was.

“Have I got one word for you—wow. The diversity of views you took, the creativity you demonstrative gives us so much hope for our future,” Hatrick said. He later noted that the statue in front of The Marshall House shows the former general and Nobel Peace Prize winner dressed in a sweater and tie, as opposed to military regalia. He said that’s because that’s how he was known in his home town, as an approachable man of character.

“What makes this man so remarkable is he was one of the most influential leaders the world has ever known, and yet he could invite other great world leaders to weed his garden with him, if that’s what he happened to be doing when they showed up,” Hatrick said. “That’s the kind of thing he was known for.”

The festival’s grand prize of $300 each went to Sarah Gresens and Hyrum Madson, for their film “Architect of Victory.” Second place, and $150 for each team member, went to Tyler Cadenas, Quinn Ramirez and Robert Tashiro for their film “A Taste of the Marshall House.” A second award was added this year to recognize the most creative film. Students Ryan Burke, Andrew Malacarne and Kalie Ward won that award, and $50 each, for their film “Peace in His Eyes.”

Gresens, 17, said she and her partner in the project, Madson, started with two very different ideas but brought them together to capture both the offerings of the Marshall House and who Marshall was as a person.

Hyrum Madson and Sarah Gresens won first place at the George C. Marshall International Center’s Youth Film Festival for their film “Architect of Victory.” [Marty Shoup/Blue Lion Media]
“This is surreal. Wow,” Gresens said. “I was confident in our final product, but I didn’t think we’d win.”

As part of the festival, student Olivia Toomer also presented her film on the Marshall Center’s Student Partnership Exchange Program. The program’s trips for this June and November still have space for more students. The U.S. students travel to Germany, Austria or France to experience daily life in a European country that participated in the Marshall Plan. The students live with host families, attend German, Austrian or French schools, visit cultural and heritage sites, and participate in career exploration experiences. Learn more at

The Marshall House offers public tours on the hour and half hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Tours last approximately 90 minutes. Private tours during the week may be arranged by calling 703-777-1301, or emailing, at least two weeks in advance.

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