Sunday, May 15, 2016

DON'T MISS NEW SHORTS BY 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 Friday, June 3 or Saturday, June 11 at 7 pm in the Ballard High School auditorium.  The screening will feature short comedies and dramas, advertisements, documentaries, news features, and a music video.  Tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for students) will be sold at the door.  To screen the festival promo, visit www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram/BFFpromo .

Films that first screen at the BFF routinely win honors at prestigious national and international film festivals and awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  Six of the productions to be screened this spring have already been nominated for High School Awards of Excellence.  The envelopes will be opened, and the winners announced, at the Northwest Emmy Awards on June 4.

The BFF will also be the Ballard premiere of Voices, a music video that was an Official Selection of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and the CineYouth Film Festival (a program of the Chicago International Film Festival).  In addition, on June 3, C-SPAN will be present to present Leo Pfeifer with 2nd Prize in their StudentCam Competition, and filmmaker Ward Serrill will be speaking on June 11.  

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 visual effects.  Ticket sales and donations will make these trips possible for all accepted students and also provide additional production equipment.



Sunday, May 08, 2016

BALLARD FILM STUDENTS WIN BEST MUSIC VIDEO AWARD AT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL

Big Coat, a music video by Jaya Flanary, Duncan Gowdy and Leo Pfeifer, won Best Music Video in the junior division at the CineYouth Awards on Saturday night, May 7, at Columbia College Chicago.  CineYouth is a project of the Chicago International Film Festival.  This annual film showcase celebrates shorts by filmmakers 22 and younger from around the world.  As winner of the prize for Best Music Video, Big Coat will be screened in the CineYouth “Best of the Fest” at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival next October.

Monday, May 02, 2016

BALLARD FILMS TO SCREEN AT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL

Two productions by nine students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program have been chosen for screening this weekend at CineYouth – the Chicago International Film Festival’s showcase for shorts by filmmakers 22 and younger from around the world. 

Both are music videos.  Voices (by Jonathan Bowers, Aurore Bouriot, Brian Cropp, and Jake Rehfeldt) depicts a high school student hemmed in by conformity.  Big Coat (by Jaya Flanary, Duncan Gowdy, and Leo Pfeifer) charts the changes brought about by the presence – and absence – of romance.  Both films will be screened at the 12th annual event in Chicago, May 5 – 7. 

Voices will also be screened at the Ballard Film Festival on Friday, June 3 or Saturday, June 11 in the Ballard High School auditorium at 7 pm.  Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be sold at the door.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

ACADEMY NOMINATES BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS

The Northwest Chapter of theNational Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced nominees for the Northwest High School Awards of Excellence.  These awards celebrate the most outstanding productions from five Northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.  Productions are nominated by NATAS industry professionals.  Students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program earned thirteen nominations, more than twice the number of any other school or organization in the five-state region.  The winners will be announced on June 4 at the 53rd Annual Northwest Emmy Awards.  

Ballard’s nominations span four categories, reflecting the diverse skills students learn in the program.  These are the nominations by category. 

Short Form Fiction:
Anne by Jaya Flanary, Meagen Tajalle & Rachel Cole

The Dragon’s Lair by PJ Hase, Jonny Cechony & Ellie Clarrissimeaux

Green Space by Jonny Cechony

My Hero by Cecilia O’Rollins, Gabriella Strommen, Olga Schultheis & David Knobloauch

Who’s Afraid of the Dark by Bergen Johnson, Cameron Miller & Sierra Santoro


Music Video:
Big Coat by Jaya Flanary, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer

Josephine by Duncan Kastner, Aaron Miller, Grant Moffett & Kajsa Woolford

Today by Coleman Andersen, PJ Hase & Bergen Johnson

Voices by Aurore Bouriot, Jonathan Bowers, Brian Cropp & Jake Rehfeldt


Public Service Announcement:
I’m an Artist by Martin Bolivar, Jonny Cechony & Evan Wallace

Protect Your Hearing by Elliott Atkinson, Cyrus Ogle & Bailey Wall

What Lies Ahead by Jaya Flanary, Meagen Tajalle & Grace Turnell


Photographer/Editor:
Hologram by Miles Andersen, Emily Black, Sophie DeGreen, Jesse Romero & Sho Schrock

This makes the tenth year in a row that Ballard High School film students have been nominated by the Academy.  Last year they received 11 nominations. 

Some of the nominated productions will be screened at the Ballard Film Festival on Friday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 11th at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium.  Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Friday, April 01, 2016

FOR BALLARD FILM STUDENTS, HOLLYWOOD DREAMS ARE BECOMING REALITIES

In mid-March, students in the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program travelled to Los Angeles to visit college film and television programs, catch up with program alumni, and meet with professional filmmakers to discuss their crafts and careers. 

The college visits included Chapman University, Emerson College, Loyola Marymount University, and the University of Southern California – all institutions ranked by the Hollywood Reporter as among the best film schools in the world. 

In addition to official tours, the students received the inside scoop from recent graduates of the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program currently studying at these institutions.  Sho Schrock (BHS ’15) gave a presentation on Creative Producing at Chapman University.  Kelsey Mendenhall (BHS ’13) met students at the Emerson LA campus and talked about the semester that film students at Emerson College spend in LA.  Matt Law (BHS ’10, LMU ’15), recipient of LMU’s Top Production Student accolade, met with students on campus after their official tour.  (Visit www.thematts.tv for a look at what he’s up to since finishing college last spring.) 

On the professional side, students heard from program graduates now working in the industry (many of whom had also visited Los Angeles during their time in the Digital Filmmaking Program).   Following a tour of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC, Producer Rikke Heinecke (BHS ’11, USC ’15), Head of Production at Oceana Branding (www.oceanabranding.com), gave a great talk on producing music videos.  (She works with artists such as Justin Beiber, Tiesto and The Chainsmokers).  Director Jesse Harris (BHS ’04, www.jesseharrisfilms.com), met students for dinner to talk about making commercials.  (Jesse has the distinction of being the youngest filmmaker ever to write and direct a feature film that obtained multi-state theatrical release.  His feature, Living Life, was his senior project at Ballard High School.)  Louis Weissman (BHS ’12) talked with students about working on camera crews, writer Blair Scott (BHS ’11, NYU ’15) talked with students about breaking into the industry, and Brendan McCarthy (BHS ’04, NYU ’07), writer on Grace & Fankie, invited students into the Writers’ Room at Paramount to explain how stories for series television programs are developed.  In addition, students spoke at length with Writer/Producer Jason Cahill (winner of the Writer’s Guild of America Award for The Sopranos).  Students also toured two major studios: Universal and Warner Brothers. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

NFFTY TO FEATURE SHORTS BY BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS


Five short films by sixteen students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program have been named Official Selections of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).  This competitive, international festival showcases outstanding work by filmmakers age 24 and younger.  NFFTY is a rare opportunity for high school students to share the spotlight with college students from our nation’s best undergraduate and graduate film schools.  This year NFFTY will feature 227 films from 24 countries and 33 states.  NFFTY opens at the Seattle Cinerama Theater on Thursday, April 28 and continues through Sunday, May 1 at the Seattle Center. 

These short films by Ballard High School film students have been selected for screening. 

Big Coat by Jaya Flanary, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer 

Climate Change by Leo Pfeifer & Meagen Tajalle 

Hologram by Miles Andersen, Emily Black, Sophie DeGreen, Jesse Romero & Sho Schrock 

Today by Coleman Andersen, PJ Hase & Bergen Johnson 

Voices by Jonathan Bowers, Aurore Bouriot, Brian Cropp & Jake Rehfeldt 

BHS also has a team competing in the 48-hour Film Off.  Teams from various high schools have two days to produce a short from start to finish.  The winner (selected in part by the audience) will win funds for their school’s production program.  Ballard’s team consists of Miles Andersen, Jonathan Bowers, Jonny Cechony, PJ Hase, & Cecilia O’Rollins.  You can catch the 48-Hour Film Off – and cast your vote - on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 pm at the SIFF Uptown 1.
  
In addition to screenings and awards, NFFTY includes forums on filmmaking.  For a complete schedule of events, show times, and ticket information, visit www.nffty.org .

NFFTY itself is the brainchild of Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking alumnus Jesse Harris (’04).  Harris made history in 2004 when Living Life, the feature film he had written and directed as a senior project, was purchased by FilmMates and given a theatrical release.  (It opened in Seattle in April, 2005.)  The festival was co-founded by Harris, Kyle Seago (’07) – a Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking student at the time - and Jocelyn RC (Bellevue High School, ’07).  A growing list of sponsors and partners paved the way for this tenth annual event.

Media Coverage

SCHOOL BEAT TV: FOCUSING ON STUDENT FILMMAKERS (Seattle Public Schools TV, February 2016)