Sunday, March 01, 2015

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?


Lily Bennett (Class of 2012)

We live in a competitive culture, school is a competitive environment, and film is a competitive field. By the time I was a junior in high school, I already had a clear idea of how to pursue my goals, but I thought my chances of getting into a film school were slim at best. The path from high school to university appeared to be strict and concrete: must needed all-round outstanding academic and extra-curricular achievements. But by the time I was a junior in high school, I'd not been able to tick off all those boxes. However, I had been able to tick off a few boxes of my own: a strong film portfolio containing official selections at regional, national, and international film festivals, and awards of excellence. I was worried, though. I thought "how much does a college really care about what I've done in a high school film program?"

In 2013 I was accepted into the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). AFTRS is the most rigorous film school in Australia. The schools application process judged on merit, meaning that a panel sat down and evaluated my work. Thanks to the portfolio of narrative shorts, documentaries, music videos, and PSAs that I had created over my four years in Lawrence's classes (as well as an Australian citizenship) I was able to get into my dream school! On my first day of class I realized I had some of the most experience among my classmates with story, camera, lights, and on-set safety. Now, just over a year later, I've worked on countless student productions, Production Assisted on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and was a Costume Assistant on the feature film Mad Max Fury Road. This goes to show that one great opportunity leads to the next, and the Ballard Digital Filmmaking Program is the first great opportunity. The work you produce in these classes will be valuable to you in the years ahead. I am so grateful to have been a part of such a program. It opened the doors to my greatest career goals.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

BHS Films to be Featured at International Festival

Two films by students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program will be screened at the Seattle Children’s Film Festival this weekend. This year, the festival will screen 175 films from 58 different countries. Most of the films were produced by professionals, but all the films are aimed at children and their families. The festival will screen at Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum through February 7.

The two Ballard films will be among 19 by young filmmakers to be featured in the Super Shenanigans: Films by Youth screening this Sunday, January 25 at 7 pm. Great Mime’s Think Alike (by Will Slater, Michael Vitz-Wong & Kiana Wyld) explores a turf war between two competing mimes. Air Pressure (by Coleman Anderson, Leo Pfeifer & Josh Vredevoogd) concerns a disaster at the World Championship Balloon Animal Competition. Both films have previously been honored by a variety of regional and national festivals.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.nwfilmforum.org .

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

DON’T MISS NEW SHORTS FROM BALLARD’S AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKERS

Everyone is invited to a screening of new work by students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program. The Ballard Film Festival (BFF) will be on Saturday, February 7 and Friday, February 20 at 7 pm in the Ballard High School auditorium. The screening will feature short comedies and dramas, advertisements, news features, and documentaries. Tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for students) will be sold at the door. Films that first screen at the BFF routinely take honors at prestigious national and international film festivals and the Northwest Regional Emmy Awards.

Funds raised will benefit students in the Digital Filmmaking Program. Students in the program regularly travel to Los Angeles to tour college schools of film and television, visit program alumni enrolled in these colleges or working in the industry, and meet with film and television professionals. Students have visited Jason Cahill (Writers Guild of America Award winner for The Sopranos) to discuss screenwriting, and Visual Effects Supervisor Bill Powloski (Breaking Bad) to discuss special effects. Ticket sales and donations will make these trips possible for all accepted students and also provide additional production equipment.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

BALLARD FILMMAKERS WIN AT FIVE-STATE FESTIVAL

Three short films by students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program are winners at Fresh Film Northwest. This competitive regional festival is coordinated by the Northwest Film Center in Portland, Oregon. It accepts entries from filmmakers ages 13 to 19 in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Only 10 films were winners at this year’s festival. This is the tenth year in a row that students from Ballard’s Digital Filmmaking Program have been winners at the event.

The winning films include a visual story and two documentaries. The visual story Air Pressure, by Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer & Josh Vredevoogd, is about a disaster at the World Balloon Animal Championship. The film has already been a winner in the Dominique Dunne Film Competition and been featured at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Northwest High School Film Festival. Clipped Wings, by Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer, made its festival premiere at the Northwest Film Forum’s regional festival last month. The short documentary explores the impact of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on Gays. (Clipped Wings has received over 100,000 views online. Check it out at https://vimeo.com/107528934 .) The festival jury also honored Clipped Wings with a Heart Award for “authenticity, originality, and humane treatment of a subject.” The other winning documentary is Raven Rock by Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary & Meagen Tajalle. It concerns a treatment program that pairs survivors of childhood abuse with abused horses for mutual healing.

The Northwest Film Center also recognized Audio Input - a documentary about the Seattle podcasting scene by Duncan Boszko, Jack O’Neal, Piper Phillips & Sho Schrock – with an Honorable Mention. The festival selected only 5 films for this honor.

A jury of filmmakers and educators screened 80 entries from across the five state region to select winners for the festival. The festival seeks to celebrate “originality, freshness, authenticity, and conviction” in the voices of young filmmakers. The program will be screened and prizes awarded at the Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium on Saturday, November 8 at 1 pm. Filmmakers, film lovers, and families are welcome to attend. To see new work by BHS filmmakers, attend the Ballard Film Festival on Saturday, February 7 or Friday, February 20 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults or $8 for students. All proceeds support students in the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BHS FILM TO BE FEATURED AT REGIONAL FESTIVAL


Three students in Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program will have their film featured at the Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings Film Festival. This festival is local in a regional sense, as it programs the best works by filmmakers from Oregon to Alaska. Clipped Wings, by Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy and Leo Pfeifer is a short documentary that explores the impact of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on Gays.

Clipped Wings will screen before Mind Zone – a documentary feature by Portland director Jan Haaken about therapists working in the 113th Army Combat Stress Control detachment. Their mission is contradictory: to protect soldiers from battle fatigue, and to keep these same soldiers in battle.

Clipped Wings and Mind Zone will screen this Sunday, September 28 at 7 pm. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit http://localsightings.nwfilmforum.org/ .

Sunday, June 22, 2014

BHS FILMMAKERS WIN AT THE EMMY AWARDS

Five students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program won Awards of Excellence at the Northwest Regional Emmy Awards on June 7. Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer and Josh Vredevoogd won best Short Form Fiction for their drama Air Pressure. Julian Amrine and Josh Vredevoogd won best Photographer/Editor for their drama Going it Alone. This is the third year in a row that these awards went to students from the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program.

The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) presents High School Awards of Excellence to celebrate and promote the most outstanding high school productions from five Northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The awards are judged by the same professional organization that selects Emmy winners.

Eighteen other BHS filmmakers had also received nominations from the Academy this year.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

BHS FILM FESTIVAL TO FEATURE AWARD-WINNING WORKS

Everyone is invited to a screening of films produced spring semester by students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program. The BHS Film Festival will be Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 at 7 p.m. in the BHS auditorium. Included will be short comedies, dramas, news features, and documentaries. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and will be sold at the door. All proceeds benefit students in the Digital Filmmaking Program.

The festival will feature a variety of productions recently honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as well as international film festivals such as the Chicago International Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival. In addition, program alumni will return to share their stories and work they've produced in college or during their professional careers.