Sunday, May 01, 2011

On April 17, Justin Amorratanasuchad died in an accident in Boston where he was attending film school. He died doing what he loved, filming. He had been a student at Emerson College since graduating from Ballard High School in 2008. A memorial for Justin is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 at Seattle Unity Church from 1-5 pm.

Justin had walked away from a full scholarship at the Northwest School in order to enroll in Ballard High's Video Production Program, where he spent three years. He was a very talented filmmaker and an inspiration to everyone in the program, both students and staff. It was impossible not to enjoy working with him. When he was happy, it was contagious. His smile lit up the room. Friends and professors from Emerson also noted these same traits, affirming that Justin's talent was maturing.

Justin’s productions are still used as examples to teach new students. He had a gift for storytelling and visualizing ideas. He also had a great sense for editing and was as comfortable in front of the camera as he was behind it.

Justin won a top prize with his very first production of his first semester. By the time he had graduated from high school, he had won a National Student Television Award for Writing from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Northwest Region), a Jury Prize for Best Experimental Film from the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, Best PSA from the Westport Youth Film Festival, and Awards of Excellence in the categories of Commercial, News, and Dramatic Narrative from the Northwest High School Film Festival.

Justin is survived by his mother, Blair Brooke-Weiss, and step-father Craig Brooke-Weiss of Seattle, Jesse Amorratanasuchad, of Seattle, a stepbrother, Levi Corgonell-Weiss, of Seattle, his half-sisters, Eve and May Amorratanasuchad, of Thailand; and his grandparents, Robert Brooke, of Phoenix, and Dallas and Ellen Mustoe, of England. His parents and friends have created a Justin Amorratanasuchad Scholarship. Justin was only able to attend a top school like Emerson because of the financial support of his grandfather. This scholarship will support public high school students who have the talent, but lack the financial resource, to pursue college studies in film and television.