Locust Valley High School hosted its eighth annual film festival, featuring original films by high school students from across Long Island.  Locust Valley students took home first and second-place awards from 151 entries.  Nicole Yonkers won first place for outstanding public service announcement; John Rozzo and Michael Paniagua won second place for outstanding public service announcement; and ‚Ä®James Schieferstein won second place for outstanding animation.

Fourteen high schools submitted films for the festival, and judges from New York Institute of Technology pre-judged and chose the 59 films that were finalists in the festival. Professional film critic, Sandy Kenyon attended the festival and chose the winners, based on technical skills, creativity, and enjoyment. Mr. Kenyon offered invaluable advice to the young filmmakers, explaining what aspects he liked in certain films, and why others did not work. “Choose your actors carefully,” Mr. Kenyon told the students. “Don’t cast your friends in your films. Actually hold auditions and cast the person who is the most believable.” He also spoke to them about lighting, and other technical aspects. “If you’re making music videos, you need to watch a lot of music videos,” he pointed out.

“The Locust Valley Film Festival has become the premier high school competition for Long Island's students and is recognized as such by the scholarships annually awarded to our winners by NYIT for film and media studies," said Locust Valley High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire.

Films were submitted in the categories of animation, public service announcements, TV commercials, music videos, documentaries, film trailers, comedies, and dramas. Along with members of the high school Parents’ Council, Locust Valley film teacher Bruce Campbell organized the event and said the lessons learned by viewing other student films are very useful to his students. “Our film festival is a competition, and while we're proud of our students and the awards they win, we're equally proud of the event itself. It's a wonderful learning experience for students to share their work with other students from so many schools. It helps inspire them to achieve their best."

A special movie night prior to the festival was held at LVHS to highlight all of the Locust Valley films submitted this year.

The Locust Valley High School Parents Council is instrumental each year in making the festival a success. Special thanks goes to this year’s film festival committee chaired by Susan Hammerschmidt and Sarah Henris.

Congratulations to all of the participants on a job well done!