The First 280 Honest Words of My Life

A 14-year-old writer must write a short composition to get accepted into a summer program. The writing must include a color, a fruit, and the rain. As she begins writing, she slowly begins challenging the ideas of honesty and her truth.

A love letter to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.


  • Ella Janes
  • Ella Janes
  • Margaret Fall
    Key Cast
  • Ella Janes
  • Ella Janes
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 14, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    150 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Classen School of Advanced Studies at NE
Director Biography - Ella Janes

Ella Janes, a 2022 YoungArts FINALIST (SILVER AWARD) in film, was born on April 25, 2006, in Los Angeles, CA with the most stellar view of the Hollywood sign. Raised in the hustle and bustle of Tinseltown, Ella Janes began writing and directing films when she was 7 years old and dropped a fan/parody video on Youtube that garnered over 2.8 million views. At 11 years old, she got signed with Adolescent Content and began directing commercials for big brands such as GoldieBlox and Crayola. At 12, Ella moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and began working on her award-winning and issue-driven debut short film CODE RED.
The rapidly growing film industry in Oklahoma has brought even more opportunities for Janes to work with some of the industry's most talented players. Ms. Janes is in no way done with her climb up the film industry ladder and is thrilled to be sharing her most recent work, THE FIRST 280 HONEST WORDS OF MY LIFE, with the world.

Recently, Janes has been named a 2022 YoungArts SILVER AWARD Finalist in film, the organization's second highest honor. Janes has been recognized for her caliber of achievement and joins 720 of the most accomplished young visual, literary, and performing artists from throughout the

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Director Statement

THE FIRST 280 HONEST WORDS OF MY LIFE is quite literally my truth, raw and exposed. This personal, and often melodic confessional letter exposes what it is like to be a young woman examining the world around her... with arbitrary rules imposed by "authority" figures seated in positions of judgment. As the writer, director, cinematographer, editor, and producer on this project, I found myself diving deep into my psyche to explore my personal style and belief system.

Originally, the composition was written as a submission for the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, where I applied to the creative writing program, as well as the film program. Ultimately, I was accepted to participate in the film program, but could not let go of the raw emotion I felt in the writing I had given birth to during the application process. I was desperate for stimulating visuals to accompany my written words, so I picked up a camera and this short film was born.

THE FIRST 280 HONEST WORDS OF MY LIFE is an ode to all of those people struggling with finding their personal identity.

Ella Janes