Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Seven works by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program won prizes at the 15th Annual Derek Freese High School Film & Video Festival. This prestigious festival draws competition from high school filmmakers throughout the nation and is judged by acclaimed filmmakers and professors from Temple University’s School of Film & Media Arts. The festival was held at TU in Philadelphia last Saturday.

Ballard High School filmmakers won every award in the documentary category. (This is quite an honor, as Temple is widely regarded as one of the best schools of documentary filmmaking in the country.) First Prize went to Robyn Cochrane, Spencer Miller, Georgia Peck & Justin Smith-Mercado for Bar Ink, the story of a youth whom manages to discover and develop his talent in spite of incarceration. Amelia Elizalde, Levi Friedman, Sean Hendricks & Sheridan Koehler took Second Prize for Henry, about the Seattle muralist of that name. Third Prize went to Tony Meyer, Matt Law-Phipps & James Vitz-Wong for Seattle Street Musicians. John Christensen, Rikke Heinecke, Blair Scott & Allie Stock won the Best Documentary Screenplay prize for Split Mind, the story of a family’s experience with schizophrenia.

In the Best Fiction category, Ballard High School students won three prizes. First Prize went to Emily Deering, Amelia Elizalde & Blair Scott for the subtle dramatic short Buy, Sell, Trade. Second Prize went to Matt Law-Phipps, Tony Meyer & Ryan Zemke for their dystopian vision, Real World. (Both these prize-winners will have their Seattle premiere at The Showing on Friday, February 11th at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $5, and will be sold at the door.) Best Fiction Screenplay went to Rikke Heinecke, Tony Meyer & Lizzy O’Laughlin for Signs, a story of hope for the homeless.

This marks the eighth year in a row that productions by students from the Ballard High School Video Production Program have been Finalists in the Derek Freese Festival, and the third time they have also won top prizes.

The festival is held in memory of Derek Freese, a gifted Temple University film student. His family created the Derek Freese Foundation in his name. The national festival is a joint project of this Foundation and the TU School of Film and Media Arts, and aims to celebrate and support excellent young filmmakers.