Locust Valley filmmakers won nine awards during the 11th annual Locust Valley High School Film Festival, held on March 31, including two first-place awards and the Audience Choice Award. High school filmmakers from 12 Long Island schools participated in the festival, which was judged by ABC Film critic Sandy Kenyon.

All submissions were prejudged at New York Institute of Technology and the finalists chosen during that process became the film entries for the festival.  After the audience viewed the films, Mr. Kenyon shared valuable advice with the participants, offering constructive criticism on their techniques and suggestions on how to improve. He also praised many of the filmmakers for their skills.

While talking to a small group of Locust Valley filmmakers, Mr. Kenyon stressed that they should never give up. “There will be a moment when you’re doing something and it will feel scary,” he said. ‘That’s when you keep going.”

Junior Megan Prosser said the advice was priceless. “He is very knowledgeable and has fantastic insight.”

Her fellow filmmaker, junior Melissa Cooney, agreed that she learned a great deal from her conversation with someone so embedded in the film industry.  “He taught me to keep going and to try a bunch of things,” she said.

The films are judged blindly. Mr. Kenyon did not know from which school each film was produced. Locust Valley students won awards in five categories in addition to being the audience favorite.

The festival is produced each year with the cooperation of many individuals including film teacher James Benedetto and the High School Parents’ Council.

Congratulations to all of the participants and to the following award winners from Locust Valley High School:



First place – “Hurts Like Hell” - Genevieve Iglesias

Third place – “Control” - Genevieve Iglesias



First place – “The Escape” -  Mike Madsen, Chris Madsen, Joe Madsen, and Marc Ambrosino

Second place – “Asking For Help” -  Melissa Cooney, Megan Prosser, and Kristy Jahchan

Third place – “Taboo” - Megan Prosser, Melissa Cooney, Genevieve Iglesias



First place – “Revnant” - Charles Compono and Kevin Spence 


Third place – “The Intruder” -  Charles Compono and Kevin Spence


Music Video

Second place – “Sad Story of My Life” -  Charles Compono and Kevin Spence 


Audience Choice Award  

“Sad Story of My Life” -  Charles Compono and Kevin Spence