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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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A Filmmaker Shares Her Journey
Poster Photo by Nate Stephens, Courtesy of Tower 5 Media
“My Last Goodbye,” a film that starts with a friendship


Sheena Vaught is a busy woman. She is the owner of Tower 5 Media, a writer, filmmaker, producer, cinematographer, director, creator, script supervisor and she sat on the board of directors for the Brunswick Art Council in 2022. But her passion is filmmaking.

Sheena’s passion for the film industry started at a young age. She recalled times when she went to the movies with her family. They talked about the movie on the way home. “It was a ritual,” said Sheena. “We would examine the movie and if it was one I really liked, I would research it and learn all I could about it.”

Sheena went to Brunswick Community College and then transferred to UNCW as a math major. I thought it was a sensible thing to do that would lead to a sensible job where I could make money. But I always knew I didn’t ever want a 9 to 5 job; I just couldn’t do that. I wasn’t sure what my ideal job looked like, so I was taking the safe route.

As Sheena considered her choice of remaining as a math major or the opportunity to enroll in the filmmaking program at UNCW, she heard a small voice asking, “Why not?”  The next day she changed her major to filmmaking and has never regretted her decision.     .

In a 2022 interview promoting her latest short film, Sheena said, “My heart is to cultivate art, period, but especially in film, in this county.”  That’s one of the reasons it was so important for her to take on the role of Festival Director of the CineBay Film Festival, held in Southport at the Amuzu Theatre, located at 111 North Howe Street, on October 27 and 28.    The Festival will highlight family friendly short films, no longer than 30 minutes.  Film categories include Narrative Short stories, Documentaries, Animated Short stories, and Music videos.

In talking about the Festival, Sheena said, “This is a wonderful collaboration between Tower 5 Media, The Brunswick Art Council, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, Brunswick County, and Friends of the Library. We rebranded the Film Festival event this year, making it stand on its own. Independent filmmakers rely on the festival circuit to build awareness.”

She continued, “When we had our Filmmaking Workshop in July, we invited students to participate to see what piqued their interest. We had a class of twelve high school students. The teens had an opportunity to learn how to work on a film set and learn technical concepts.”

Sheena continued, “I created a film called ‘My Last Goodbye,’ which will be presented at the CineBay Film Festival on October 27. The film tells a story that is too often true and very sad.”

There are a total of eleven films that will be shown—among them: “The Adventures of Baxter and Clyde,” a film set in 1960 about a magical duck and a boy. “In God’s Hands,” explores the spiritual and physical needs of displaced Ukrainian families. “I Live For Her,” shows us that dreams can come true. And “The Frog Who Wanted A King,” is an animated story that children will enjoy.

In 2017, Sheena “built an idea,” and opened Tower 5 Media, her production company. She said, “I want to help others produce good content and be able to make money to improve my filmmaking skills. I want artists to see this as a ‘student’ production company where they come with ideas and a goal, I want to help them create what they see in their minds.”

Sheena also created, “Coffee With the Girls,” a filmed round table discussion among women on a specific topic. “Women carry emotional weight,” she said. “This is a place where you can speak freely and get the perspective of others.”

Of all of the things that Sheena Vaught is, she is also a student. She said, “Always be a student, don’t think that you can master everything. Things change and you have to be able to embrace those changes. You have to realize the way you have been doing something isn’t always the best way, so stay open to suggestions, new technology, new opportunities and above all, try.”

Sheena commented on the importance of writing, saying, “Writing is an important skillset, not only in filmmaking, but in anything you may want to do. Writing well sets you apart from others, it’s a skillset that has to be practiced over and over again. Read what others have written. Hone your craft. Always try to make it better. Always try to be better.”

With Sheena Vaught as the helm of the CineBay Film Festival this year, it promises to be an entertaining and important event. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the art of filmmaking. Make a special effort to see “My Last Goodbye,” directed by Sheena Vaught.


“These ongoing monthly articles celebrate and cultivate the arts in our community and promote the Arts in Brunswick County. For more about the arts in Brunswick County please go to:








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About the Contributor
Jan Morgan-Swegle is the Editor of Cape Fear Voices.  She has been writing for CFV for almost 3 years.  She is originally from the Cleveland area and moved down to Leland 12 years ago.  She and her husband, Tony, and their dog, Dixie, enjoy sitting on the lanai listening to music and sharing wine (Dixie likes white wine but only gets two finger tips full!!)  They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren living in Cleveland, Ohio,  Charlotte, North Carolina and Lakeland, Florida.

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