Announcing the Winners of the 2019 Texas Central Student Short Film Competition!

Connecting People, The Arts

Thank you to all of the Texas university students who worked so hard this semester to produce some amazing short films for this contest! We were overwhelmed by the quality of the work on display. From inspirational and heartwarming to funny and quirky, these films truly captured the excitement and enthusiasm that continues to build for the Texas High-Speed Train!

That being said, only three videos could be selected for the top 3 prizes. Winners were selected by a panel of industry professional judges in conjunction with an online voting campaign. The films were judged in three categories: Animation Excellence, Live Action and Creativity.

Without further ado, here are your winning films:



University of Texas at Arlington

Congratulations to creator Cecillia Nguyen, who will take home a solo prize of $5,000, while her school will receive $2,000.

Vision Statement

The Texas Bullet Train can benefit Texas in many ways when it comes to transportation. As the population is growing in Texas, it could bring more traffic on the roads which could increase the amount of car accidents. Instead of spending time exploring places in Texas, people can also spend most of their time driving, getting stuck in traffic, or waiting for the plane after a flight delay. With the bullet train, travelers can avoid these issues and get to their destination on time. Accidents can also increase the cost of insurance and could cause fatal injuries, but with the Texas bullet train will be built like the Japanese bullet train which was named the safest high-speed rail system in the world. To travel from Dallas to Houston, the bullet train only takes 90 minutes, easing the pain of driving or taking a bus for 4 hours.

The bullet train’s safety and reliability will appeal more to students because they won’t have to worry about feeling tired while driving for a long time and they can live in the moment and travel spontaneously with the convenient departures every 30 minute during peak travel periods. Incorporating the bullet train into the Texas lifestyle will help Texans grow as a community and promote public transportation for Texans to utilize in the future.


Dylan and Daoud

Texas A&M University

Congratulations to Dylan Manshack and Daoud Qamar who will share a prize of $5,000, while their school will receive $2,000.

Vision Statement:

Texas is a powerhouse for academia, but unfortunately these great universities are spread vastly across our large state which means not all professors are able to live next to their respective campuses. This results in many professors commuting to campus from far distances, and this uses valuable time. Consequently, professors are forced to spread their time especially thin to compensate for the commute which leaves many choosing between family time and time for their students’. Our team wanted to capture this narrative to show how much these professors have to endure to fulfill their commitment of educating Texas students. That’s why in our project we decided to lay out the pain points commuting professors face in the most genuine way possible: by interviewing one of our own commuting professors about their experience. Since we used one of our own professors, we wanted to keep this film close to our hearts and make as much of the content as possible from our own creativity. Therefore, all the clips used in the films are entirely ours (with the exception of the train rail courtesy of Texas Central). Our vision is that the viewer will see the potential benefits of a high speed rail on education for more than a numbers game about economic impact. Through this video we aim to inspire empathy from our fellow Texans to see a high speed rail in Texas as more than a concept but as a necessity. Because we know Texans share many of the same values on family and education shown by Professor Jaima in the video, we know that they wouldn’t want him to choose between being a great family man or a great professor when he could more easily be both with a high-speed rail.


Wild and Epic

Southern Methodist University

Congratulations to Isaac Cordova and Will Sutter, who will share a prize of $5,000, while their school will receive $2,000.

Vision Statement:

We’ve all been there. Thirty minutes of traffic feels like four and a half hours. Imagine what four and a half hours of traffic feels like! Now more than ever time is such a commodity and we wanted to contrast what making the most of your time would look like vs. the polar opposite through a cinematic lens. From enjoying a cup of coffee on the balcony, to getting to hit the snooze button three times guilt free, riding the Texas Central Bullet Train lets us soak up the little things in life that make the biggest differences. Unpredictable waves of traffic and bad drivers can easily cause stress and eat away at the time we have for the little moments in life. This short film exemplifies how two business professionals attending the same meeting have two vastly different experiences.