Montclair Film recognizes students for artistry

MONTCLAIR, NJ — Montclair Film recently announced the winners of the 2017 Emerging Filmmaker Competition, a program co-presented by Partners For Health Foundation that screens work by students in grades four through 12 from the Tri-State Area and beyond. This year, more than 90 films were submitted in three categories: Cinemaniacs for grades four through six, Storytellers for grades seven through nine, and Visionaries for grades 10 through 12. Winning films were selected by a group of educators and industry professionals, and all winning films will be screened at the Montclair Film Festival’s EFC Showcase on Saturday, April 29, at 11 a.m. at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair.

Montclair Film has also selected 15 students from across the area to participate in the Montclair Film Festival’s Junior Jury. The jurors will review a selection of films, meet with industry professionals to learn about the process of jury deliberation, adjudicate and select a winning film for the festival’s Junior Jury Award, to be given Saturday, May 6.

The Montclair Film Festival, in conjunction with the Montclair Special Education Parents Advisory Council, will also be featuring two sensory-friendly screenings for families this year. Sensory-friendly screenings feature lowered sound, raised house lights and the freedom for young people with sensory sensitivities to move, speak and view films in a friendly, judgement-free environment. This year’s screenings will be “Into the Who Knows!” on Sunday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at the Claridge for children ages 6 and older, and “Swim Team” on Friday, May 5, at 4:30 p.m. at the Bellevue for children ages 12 and older.

The Montclair Film Festival will also feature a public art reception on Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m. at the Investors Bank Film & Media Center, showcasing a collaborative student Air/Water Art Installation, co-presented by the Montclair Cooperative School, that focuses on this year’s Community Climate Action Campaign. The piece, featuring thousands of re-purposed plastic bottles and mixed materials, will be on display throughout the Montclair Film Festival on the rear facade of the building, located at 505 Bloomfield Ave. The reception is free and open to the public.

“As our education programs continue to grow, we’re incredibly proud of these students, both as filmmakers and film lovers,” Montclair Film Education Director Sue Hollenberg said in a press release. “We remain dedicated to creating meaningful experiences for students of all ages, and the diversity and reach of these programs are a demonstration of our commitment to teaching the art of film. We congratulate all of our students on their outstanding work.”

Tickets for the 2017 Montclair Film Festival are available for purchase online at or at the festival’s new Box Office, located in the lobby of the Investors Bank Film & Media Center at 505 Bloomfield Ave. in downtown Montclair.

The 2017 Junior Jury will include Abby Berberian of Bridgewater Raritan High School, Aidan Champeau of Montclair High School, David Chun of Millburn High School, Alison Cottingham of Montclair Kimberley Academy, Tyrell Dickerson of Academy 360, Soula Garcia of Bloomfield High School, Hank Greenberg of Montclair High School, Jackson Healey of Middletown High School South, Kianni Keys of Newark Academy, Raymond Lamb of Montclair High School, Noah Levine of Livingston High School, Daniel Mathis of Montclair High School, Gabrielle Narcisse of Kent Place School, Sophia Raines of West Orange High School and Kayleen Silva of Ridgefield Park.

The 2017 Emerging Filmmaker Competition winners are as follows: In the Cinemaniacs division, Grand Prize Narrative went to Hanmer Elementary’s Liv Hammer, Cora Tinker and Edie Carson for “Great Aunt’s Disguise”; and Grand Prize Comedy went to the Pingry School’s Jordan Miller, Vared Shmuler, Jenna Hauser and Meher Khan for “How to Make a Film for Dummies.”

In the Storytellers division, Grand Prize Comedy and Grand Prize Narrative went to Middletown High School South’s Victoria Pater, Courtney Voehl, Olivia Parauda, Cassidy Anontucci, Milla Shinder and Erik Pederson for “Sock Monster”; Special Jury Prize Comedy went to Union Catholic Regional High School’s Zachary Reichgut for “Bullfrog”; Grand Prize Experimental went to Montclair Kimberley Academy’s Luke Gardiner for “Imperceptible”; and Grand Prize Documentary went to South Orange Middle School’s Alex Ferrandiz, Sam Cohen, Lucia Garritano, Robin Kalderen and Ray Feinleib for “Project Identity.”

In the Visionaries division, Grand Prize Comedy went to Middletown High School South’s Matt King for “Tiny”; Special Jury Prize Comedy went to both Montclair Kimberley Academy’s Lily Jones for “The Indubitable Molly Davis” and Montclair High School’s Owen Plofker for “Planet of the Dogs”; Grand Experimental Prize went to Middletown High School South’s Charlotte Larish, Lisa Merola, Maria Dragone and Sage Levine for “1600”; Special Jury Prize Experimental went to Columbia High School’s Jacob Hirsch for “The Search for Happiness”; Grand Prize Narrative went to Montclair High School’s Lucia Ledesma, Aidan Champeau, Jake Weinberg, Lilli Herrick, Jacob Manthy, Petra Fox and Jake Diamond for “Personal Space”; Special Jury Prize Narrative went to both Montville Township High School’s David Champion, Jeff Gallup, Heather Giudice, Samantha Grossman, Jack Motherway, Paul Riccio and Veronica Tullo for “Black & White Revenge” and Morristown High School’s Kylee Strasser for “Find”; Grand Prize Documentary and Social Impact went to the Hudson School’s Sean Riller-Miltner for “Xenophobia”; Special Jury PRize Documentary went to Montclair High School’s Blythe Bahramipour for “Love Shouldn’t Hurt”; and Special Jury Prize Social Impact went to both Passaic County Technical Institute’s Tiffany Cano for “Behind Closed Doors” and Passaic County Technical Institute’s Tyrese Watkins for “The Hurdle.”

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