HS Filmmakers Earn 12 Awards

filmweb.jpg
Locust Valley High School filmmakers took home seven first-place awards and 12 prizes in total in the 14th annual Locust Valley High School Film Festival. Judged by ABC Television’s film critic Sandy Kenyon, the students were recognized for their overall filmmaking talents.
 
Awards included first place in the categories of cinematography, editing, sound design, documentary, commercial, public service announcement and music video. Additionally, the Locust Valley team earned best performance by an actor and the Audience Choice Award. They won second place for comedy and sound design and third place for drama.
 
Twelve schools from the tri-state area participated in this year’s festival, submitting films in 11 categories for prejudging. The submissions were sent to film professors at Five Towns College who selected the finalists in each category. Those 63 films were shown at the festival and judged by Mr. Kenyon.
 
The film awarded best overall will be shown at the Long Island International Film Expo in July. Debra Markowitz, executive director of the Nassau County Film Advisory Board and vice president of the Long Island International Film Expo, presented the award and praised the quality of all of the submissions.
 
Five Towns College representative Theresa Donoghue selected two attendees at random to receive scholarships to the college.
 
Film teacher Roger Boucher said he was thrilled that his students’ hard work and dedication to their art paid off. Students from all four of his film classes and every grade won awards, including 10 students taking the subject for the first time. 

“All of the filmmakers put a lot of hours into their projects,” Mr. Boucher said. “Seeing their films play on a big screen, in front of hundreds of their peers, is an emotional experience. It’s a tremendous validation of their efforts.” 
 
Mr. Boucher said that the constructive criticism given by Mr. Kenyon is an important part of the festival. “Our young filmmakers take his suggestions and implement them to improve their films and ultimately that is the goal, for them to learn as much as possible,” he said.
 
Mr. Kenyon suggested that filmmakers look outside of their friend group for actors, pulling from the school’s theatrical program or even actors at a local college. “This can improve your films greatly,” he said. 

He also suggested having actors play their own age, rather than high school students playing middle-aged parents, for example. Lighting and sound were other topics he covered, while also stressing that often removing a few minutes from any film will be an improvement, saying that every scene should be necessary to the film.
 
Congratulations to all of the Locust Valley winners!
 
First Place, Cinematography:
“Sunrise” – Danny Dessner, Alec Miranda
 
First Place, Editing:
“Sunrise” – Danny Dessner, Alec Miranda
 
First Place, Sound Design:
“Sunrise” – Danny Dessner, Alec Miranda
 
First Place, Documentary:
“Repercussions” – Madeline Daly
 
First Place, Commercial:
“Heptybenzolite” – Anthony Bonadonna, Andrew Burkhard, Brian Graham, Teegan Rowe, Nick Sanchez
 
First Place, PSA:
“Lightsaber Safety” – Anthony Bonadonna, Andrew Burkhard, Brian Graham, Nick Sanchez
 
First Place, Music Video:
“Rolled” – Justin Manzi, Chris Muller, Ian Pedro, Raymond Weilert
 
Best Performance:
Darren McMahon – “The Job Interview”
 
Audience Choice Award:
“Stranded” – Marc Ambrosino, Danny Dessner, Anthony Madsen, Chris Madsen, John Madsen
 
Second Place, Comedy:
“The Job Interview” – Robert LaPollo, Natalia Mahoney, Darren McMahon
 
Second Place, Sound Design:
“Stranded” – Marc Ambrosino, Danny Dessner, Anthony Madsen, Chris Madsen, John Madsen
 
Third Place, Drama:
“Let It Out” – Chris Madsen, John Madsen, Alec Miranda, Hans Kiessling