Saturday, April 15, 2017


Two short films by 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 films from 27 countries.  NFFTY opens at the Seattle Cinerama Theater on Thursday, April 27 and continues through Sunday, April 30 at the Seattle Center.  

The Official Selections from Ballard are both documentaries.  Transformative, by Maureen Brown, Claire Elliott, Krystelle Kurz and Sorcha Marron, examines the experience of a transgender teen and our current political climate.  It will be shown in the Come as You Are screening at the Uptown Cinema 1 on Saturday, April 29 at 3:30.  (Transformative is the only selection in this screening not produced by college students.)  My Bike & Me, by Braiden Hayes, Bergen Johnson and Cameron Miller, follows resilient college freshman Duncan Bozko as he learns to ride a bike.  It will be featured in the UpperLeftUSA screening at the Uptown Cinema 2 on Sunday, April 30 at 1 pm.  Both screenings will have an Audience Award, so come and vote! 

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 Aven Fay, Ethan Hawthorne-Dallas, Krystelle Kurz, Jessica Lueck, and Wylie Soltes,  You can catch the 48-Hour Film Off – and cast your vote - on Saturday, April 29 at 11 am at the Uptown Cinema 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 was 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.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017


Three shorts by twelve students in Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program have won honors at the Dominique Dunne Film Competition in Colorado Springs.  This competition actively seeks and invites entries from schools with outstanding film programs throughout the United States and abroad.  It has only two categories: Documentary and Dramatic Narrative.  Each school is limited to only four entries.  

Maya Konz, Nolan Baker, Bailey Wall and Kajsa Woolford won 1st Prize in the Documentary category for 9066, a film about the internment of citizens of Japanese ancestry during World War II.  Also recognized in Documentary was Heart of Gold by Miles Andersen, Josh Gaynor-Cote, Willow Hudson and Jesse Romero.  It received an Honorable Mention.  Heart of Gold follows a student through her final year of high school - a year complicated by a life-threatening medical condition, a stroke, and a heart transplant.  In the Dramatic category, Avery Davis, Aaron Miller, Cameron Miller, and Skala Leake received an Honorable Mention for Comeback, the story of a soccer player facing a serious setback.   

The students will receive cash prizes for each honor, as well as written critiques from members of the competition's prestigious Advisory Board including producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. (of The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Samuel Goldwyn Films), actor/director Griffin Dunne (An American Werewolf in London, After Hours) and producer/ director/actor Ed Sherin (Law & Order).      

Students from Ballard's Digital Filmmaking Program won three of the six honors given by the competition.  This is the fifth year in a row that Ballard’s film students have been among the winners. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016


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, February 10 at 7 pm in the Ballard High School auditorium.  The screening will feature short comedies and dramas, advertisements, and documentaries.  Tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for students) will be sold at the door. 

Films that first screen at the BFF frequently win honors at prestigious national and international film festivals as well as awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  BHS film students hit the ground running this fall with 10 Official Selections in the national All American High School Film Festival, awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Best Music Video and Best Editing, and winners at Fresh Film Northwest - including the documentary Living Honestly by PJ Hase and Skala Leake.  This will have its Seattle premiere at the Ballard Film Festival. 

Funds raised will benefit students in the Digital Filmmaking Program.  This year, Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program was one of 5 production programs from across the nation selected by the All American High School Film Festival in New York City to produce documentaries for IMAX.  Big screen distribution sets a high bar for production values.  Your support will put the right tools in the hands of students so they can complete these productions in style.