Monday, March 31, 2014


Four short films by thirteen 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 festival showcases outstanding work by filmmakers age 22 and younger. NFFTY is a rare opportunity for high school students to share the spotlight with college students from our nation’s best film schools. This year NFFTY will feature 214 films from 30 states and 15 countries. Screeners made the selections from a pool of 800 entries. NFFTY opens at the Seattle Cinerama Theater on Thursday, April 24 and continues through Sunday, April 27 at the Seattle Center.
These short films by Ballard High School film students have been selected for screening.

Song for Anna by Lucy Harstrick, Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen, Josh Vredevoogd & Kiana Wyld

Stop Pretending by Marlene Anderson, Khasbold Bataa, Gabe Fabens, Zach Green & Lorenzo Rossi

Then & Now by Enjuli Chhaniara (’13), Dayan Flynn-Walsh (’13) & Ana Krafchick (’13)

Also selected was A Sleeping Giant, produced independently by Ballard film student Leo Pfeifer.

BHS also has a team competing in the 48-hour Film Off. Teams from ten 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. You can catch the 48-Hour Film Off – and cast your vote - on Saturday, April 26 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

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 eighth annual event.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Everyone is invited to a screening of new work by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program. The Showing will be on Saturday, February 8 and Thursday, February 13 at 7 pm in the Ballard High School auditorium. The screening will include short comedies and dramas, advertisements, news features, and music videos. Some of the work has recently won regional and national awards. Tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for students) will be sold at the door.

Funds raised will benefit students in the Video Production Program. Each spring, students in the program 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. Your ticket purchase or donation will make this trip possible for all accepted students and provide additional production equipment.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


The National YoungArts Foundation has awarded Lucy Harstrick a Merit Award in Cinematic Arts in recognition of the “exceptional artistic achievement” evident in her work. The award comes with a college recommendation from this prestigious organization. The YoungArts program identifies and supports young talent in the areas of music, theater, visual arts, photography, writing, and cinematic arts (motion picture). Lucy’s production was selected for honors from more than 11,000 submissions nationwide through a blind adjudication process by a nationally and internationally renowned panel of judges, master teachers, and artists.

A third year student in Ballard’s Video Production Program, Lucy plans to study filmmaking in college next year. She pitched her idea for the winning project to the Advanced Video Production class last spring. It was selected for production by her classmates, and Lucy worked with Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen ('13, now at NYU), Josh Vredevoogd ('14), and Kiana Wyld ('14) to realize her concept. Titled Song for Anna, the music video tells a nuanced story that could suggest a couple trying to get together – or trying to break up.

Song for Anna will have its premiere with other recently awarded works by filmmakers in the Ballard High School Video Production Program at The Showing on Saturday, February 8 or Thursday, February 13 at 7 p.m. in the BHS auditorium. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. All proceeds support students in the Program.

Monday, November 04, 2013


For the ninth straight year, students from the Ballard High School Video Production Program are winners in 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. 

The music video Stop Pretending by Marlene Anderson, Khasbold Bataa, Gabe Fabens, Zach Green & Lorenzo Rossi won the Creative Self-Expression Award for “outstanding achievement in cinematic storytelling.”  The video features the original song of the same title by Rossi for his band Yellow Peril and concerns relationships that are held together by social expectations.  An Honorable Mention was awarded to the music video Song for Anna, by Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen, Lucy Harstrick, Josh Vredevoogd & Kiana Wyld.  It tells an ambiguous story of romance and loss.  Finally, winner of the Heart Award for “authenticity, originality, and humane treatment of a subject” is the visual story The Eye of the Beholder by Walker Evans, Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen & Brian VanWagenen.  It takes a subjective look at the destructive impact of fashion marketing.         

A jury of filmmakers and educators screened 117 entries to select 14 works 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 16 at 1 pm.  Filmmakers, film lovers, friends and families are welcome to attend. 

To see the winners as well as other new work by BHS filmmakers, attend our end-of-the-semester Showing on Saturday, February 8 or Thursday, February 13 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium.  Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students.  All proceeds support the BHS Video Production Program.  


Sydney Jarol (Class of 2011) with Rebecca Fons of the Chicago International Film Festival

After three productive, enjoyable, and undeniably educational years in the Ballard Video Production Program, I was lucky enough to be granted a generous scholarship to Columbia College Chicago. Columbia had been my first choice, both because it was located in a new and exciting city, and because it’s film program is one of the best in the country (it recently made #14 on the Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Film Schools of 2013). It would not have been possible for me to attend without such a scholarship, and I am extremely grateful for all the instruction, both constructively critical and supportive, that I received from Mr. Lawrence during my time in the video program. It was this guidance that inspired me to create the best work possible, and therefore helped me to build a portfolio strong enough to obtain this award. 

Since starting at Columbia College, I have been involved in several projects, filling a wide variety of roles including producer, writer, director, editor, script supervisor, sound designer, and production assistant. It has taken me a while to decide where to focus myself within the world of film production, but I have finally decided on sound design. Sound is something that I never even considered as an option when I thought about working in film, but my first sound class changed my mind completely. I had never realized how much fun sound could be, and once I came to the conclusion that I was perfectly capable of working the equipment and software, it rapidly became my favorite aspect of the filmmaking process. I hope to pursue a career in post-production audio, but I also plan to learn how to work on location sound.

In addition to coursework, I have done my best to continually be involved in extracurricular activities that will ultimately help me achieve my career goals. I have worked as a lab assistant in the post-production center at Columbia, as well as in a teaching assistant position for an art in schools program with Chicago Public Schools. And this past summer, I spent five weeks working as a film instructor for a summer camp at a Chicago elementary school, which was both challenging and rewarding.

But the best, and most exciting experience thus far has been my internship with the Chicago International Film Festival. Beyond the actual process of filmmaking, being a part of making film festivals happen is another passion of mine, and I had been dreaming about working with the festival ever since I first arrived in Chicago and learned of its existence. For two years I volunteered with the festival each fall, and then last spring I was granted an internship working with the Education Outreach Coordinator, Rebecca Fons. In my internship position, I helped to plan and carry out the 2013 CineYouth Festival, in addition to other duties such as assisting with education screenings and general festival events. Although internships generally last only a semester, I was asked to return for the fall, which means that I will be a part of the force behind the 49th Chicago International Film Festival itself, and I could not be more delighted.

I will graduate next spring (2014) with a B.A. in Film and Video, and a minor in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Each year, the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presents High School Awards of Excellence to celebrate the most outstanding high school productions from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.  The productions are nominated, and the winners determined, by a jury of Academy members.  When the envelopes were opened at the 50th Annual Regional Emmy Awards on June 15, students from the Ballard High School Video Production Program won 3 of the four categories in which they had been nominated.  

Here are the winners, by category: 

Community/Public Service Announcements:
Not Even Once by Sam Baldwin, Paris Burhen, Brian Cropp & Gabriel Tagulao

Long-Form, Fiction:
Godsend by DJ McCoy

Dream House by Ariahna Ghormley, Ana Krafchick & Louis Weissman

This marks the seventh year in a row that Ballard High School video producers have been winners at the event.

Sunday, June 02, 2013


The Northwest Chapter of the National 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 Video Production Program earned eight nominations.  The winners will be announced on June 15 at the 50th Annual Regional Emmy Awards ceremony.  

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

Community/Public Service Announcements:
  Anti-Littering by Tristram Fetters, DJ McCoy & Sage Borlo

  Not Even Once by Sam Baldwin, Paris Burhen, Brian Cropp & Gabriel Tagulao

Long-Form, Fiction:
  Godsend by DJ McCoy

Long-Form, Non-Fiction:
  Impact by Kenton King, Jacob Scott & Mackenzie Wright

  My Little Brony by Vann Fulfs, Taylor Martin & Bryan Quandt

  Dream House by Ariahna Ghormley, Ana Krafchick & Louis Weissman

  Nordic Heritage Museum by Julian Amrine & Joshua Vredevoogd

  Sundown by Vann Fulfs, Bryan Quandt & Jacob Scott

This makes the seventh year in a row that Ballard High School video producers have been nominated.  Last year they received 7 nominations and won the categories of Long Form, Fiction and Photographer/Editor.