Westchester students, along with their family, friends, and the general public, attended the 11th annual Future Filmmakers’ Film Festival at The Picture House in Pelham on Sunday, April 29. Chester Awards were given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as well as one for Creativity and an Audience Choice Award.
The Future Filmmakers’ Film Festival began as a tribute to Byram Hills’ student and filmmaker, Matthew Hisiger. To be part of the festival, Westchester students submit their short films, which are then screened at the festival and assessed by a panel of judges.
Filmmakers: Evan Miller and Austin Duffy, Byram Hills
Film: Sam’s Bucket. 7 minutes. A teenager recently diagnosed with a critical illness completes the last four things on his bucket list. This film was written, filmed, directed, and edited, including an original musical score by Stefan Dinkel, in 48 hours for another film competition.
“I was always a huge film fan…but I never really worried about how to make a film until I took a film class junior year of high school. The second I got behind the camera I kind of fell in love with it.” — Austin Duffy
Filmmakers: Georgia Ferguson, Kate Murray, and Clementine Marcogliese, Sacred Heart
Film: Inside the Industry. 3 minutes and 29 seconds. A short documentary about Hervé Pierre, fashion designer for Dior, Carolina Herrera, and Balmain, and couturier to four first ladies. Along with this award, the film won first place at the Sacred Heart Film Festival, first place at the A9CC film festival, and Best Documentary at the Hotchkiss Film Festival.
“We didn’t know that we were going to win or that we were going to place. We kind of just went into it thinking that we made a great film and if it didn’t place, then at least we put our care and effort in.” — Georgia Ferguson
Filmmaker: Chloe Stafford, Mamaroneck
Film: Living as Myself. 4 minutes and 9 seconds. A look into living with ADHD from someone who has experienced it. Stafford made this film as part of an assignment to make a self-reflective video in her film elective course at Mamaroneck High School.
“Honestly what I was trying to do was make something different and something personal…It might be a little awkward to watch but in the end I’m going to be really thankful I made it and I want people to see it, people who have ADHD or a learning disability, so they can see someone like them.” — Chloe Stafford
Back row, left to right: Kate Murray, Chloe Stafford, Masana Morgan, Evan Miller, Clementine Marcogliese / Front row, left to right: Erika Totoro, Georgia Ferguson
Filmmaker: Erika Totoro, Dobbs Ferry
Film: Lonely. 2 minutes and 17 seconds. Claymation movie featuring a forlorn donut seeking a friend. Although she has experience working with clay, this was the first claymation film Totoro made. The film and pictures of her other claymation works can be viewed on www.ectcrafts.com.
“It took me about 2,500 photos to make…For each photo I have to slightly move the characters and if I move it too much I have to restart it.” — Erika Totoro
Filmmaker: Masana Morgan, Mamaroneck
Film: Lose It. 4 minutes and 23 seconds. Inspired by the song “Swimming Pools” by Kendrick Lamar, the film follows a teen at a party as his life spins out of control. Morgan originally made this film for a visual poetry project in school.
“Kendrick Lamar’s song came on called ‘Swimming Pools,’ and it’s kind of about his alcohol addiction. I thought that could be turned into a really interesting film and I really wanted to convey that especially because a lot of teens can be involved in that kind of abuse.” — Masana Morgan
The Pelham Picture House, which has been in operation since 1921, was purchased in 2001 by the Pelham Picture House Preservation nonprofit to protect it from being torn down and to maintain it for future generations to enjoy. The Picture House holds special screenings, events with famous stars and directors, film productions, summer camp programs, and film classes for students (K-12) and adults. High school students can participate in a film club on Wednesday nights during the school year where they collaborate with professional filmmakers to create a short movie. Students in the film club have the opportunity to explore screenwriting, directing, cinematography, and video editing.