Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program have won 15 awards and honors across six different categories at the 16th annual Northwest High School Film Festival at the Cinerama Theater in downtown Seattle. This is the largest and longest running festival for high school filmmakers in the Puget Sound region. Twenty high schools from the Puget Sound region competed for awards in twelve different production categories.

Perhaps the biggest prize of the festival is the “J-Dogg” Scholarship. The award was established in 2011 by the family of Justin Amorratanasuchad, the gifted Ballard High School filmmaker whose career was tragically cut short by an accident during his second year of college. The memorial scholarship gives upwards of $5,000 each year toward the college education of a festival winner preparing to pursue a degree in film and television production. This year, the award was presented to BHS Digital Filmmaking senior Raven Two Feathers. In the fall, Raven will be studying film production at the Santa Fe University of Art & Design.

The festival was judged by a panel of industry professionals and college media professors. The event was organized by the Media Educators for Excellence Team (MEET) and sponsored by the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Advanced Broadcast Solutions, the Art Institute of Seattle, Glazier's Camera, and Sanford-Brown College. For more information on the NWHSFF, visit www.nwhsff.weebly,org.

Some of the award-winning productions will be screened at the BHS Film Festival on Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 at 7 p.m. in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be sold at the door.

Ballard’s Northwest High School Film Festival winners by category:


Comedic Narrative
Stuck in Time
Sage Borlo, Tor Randolph, Remy Robin

Joseph Downey, Max McCann, Tor Randolph

Whizz Education
Julian Amrine, Stephanie Shao, Josh Vredevoogd

Dramatic Narrative
Air Pressure
Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer

Music Video
Song for Anna
Lucy Harstrick, Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen, Josh Vredevoogd, Kiana Wyld


Comedic Narrative
A Taste of Courage
Carlos Caceres Martinez, Victoria O’Laughlin, Leo Pfeifer

Jonny Cechony, Tristram Fetters, Simon Gibson-Penrose

Don’t Drop the Bass
Milo Adams, Jonny Cechony, Nathan Roe

Music Video
A Day at Ballard High School
Jaya Flanary, Meagen Tajalle, Raven Two Feathers

Goodbye, Paraguay
Matt Nguyen, Sho Schrock, Stephanie Shao

News Feature
Real World Maritime
Danny Allen, Elliott Atkinson, Henry Romano-Weller

Public Service Announcement
The Bank
Leo Pfeifer, Auston Thompson

Deadly Education
Aurore Bouriot, Will Erstad, Sid Johnson

Words Matter
Ethan Ayrault, Kimi Rutledge, Kajsa Woolford

Sunday, May 25, 2014


BHS Filmmakers Leo Pfeifer and Coleman Andersen

The short film Air Pressure by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, is an Official Selection of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). A visual story about a disaster at the World Balloon Animal Championships, it will screen at SIFF this Monday, May 26 at 1:30 pm at the Uptown Cinemas.

It will also screen at the BHS Film Festival on Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be sold at the door.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


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 Digital Filmmaking Program earned eleven nominations, more than twice as many as any other school or organization in the five-state region. The winners will be announced on June 7 at the 51st 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.

Music Video:
Goodbye, Paraguay by Sho Schrock-Manabe, Matt Nguyen, Stephanie Shao & Elizabeth Turnell

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

Caf-Fiend by Simon Gibson-Penrose, Tristram Fetters & Jonny Cechony

Going it Alone by Julian Amrine & Joshua Vredevoogd

Public Service Announcement:
The Bank by Leo Pfeifer & Auston Thompson

Short Form Fiction:
Air Pressure by Coleman Anderson, Leo Pfeifer & Josh Vredevoogd

Caf-Fiend by Simon Gibson-Penrose, Tristram Fetters & Jonny Cechony

Going it Alone by Julian Amrine & Josh Vredevoogd

The Need to Groove by Kyle Goodwin, Max Nelson & Jonny Cechony

Omar the Girl Scout by Coleman Anderson, Brian Cropp & Lindsay Fasser

Stuck in Time by Sage Borlo, Tor Randolph & Remy Robin

Three of the films nominated in the Short Form Fiction category were produced by students in their first year of the Digital Filmmaking Program. In the Photographer/Editor category, all the nominees were Ballard High School students.

One of the nominated productions, along with other new works completed this spring by students in the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program, will be screened at the Ballard High School Film Festival. This will take place on Friday, June 6th or Saturday, June 7th at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.

This makes the eighth year in a row that Ballard High School producers have been nominated. Last year they received 8 nominations and won the categories of Community/Public Service Announcement, Long Form, Fiction and Photographer/Editor.

Monday, May 05, 2014


Two short films by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program were award winners at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). The festival featured 214 films from across the country by filmmakers 21 and younger. Many of the featured works were produced by college students from such prestigious schools of film & television as the University of Southern California and New York University, so there was no shortage of competition.

Song for Anna by Lucy Harstrick, Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen, Josh Vredevoogd & Kiana Wyld won the Audience Award of the Musical Masterpiece program. Song for Anna had previously won the Merit Award from the prestigious YoungArts Organization, and had also been named an Official Selection of the Chicago International Film Festival, where it will be screened next week.

Ballard filmmakers also distinguished themselves in NFFTY’s 48-Hour Film Off. In this festival event, high school media production programs of the Puget Sound area compete to produce the best short in 48 hours. To ensure that no pre-production has been done before the competition starts, teams were given a key line of spoken dialogue, a theme, and a prop that must be prominently featured in the short. The prop this year was a hydroplane, so teams had to be particularly resourceful and creative. Jonny Cechony, Will Erstad, Simon Gibson-Penrose, Elizabeth Rosario and Raven Two Feathers represented Ballard High School, and their short Just Plane Lucky took 2nd Prize in the competition.

Just Plane Lucky will screen at the Ballard Film Festival on Friday and Saturday, June 7th and 8th at 7 pm in the Ballard High School auditorium. Admission is $5 for students and $10 for adults.