Wednesday, December 02, 2015

BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FILM STUDENTS LEAD NATIONAL YOUNGARTS WINNERS IN CINEMATIC ARTS



Each year, the National YoungArts Foundation (www.youngarts.org) identifies and supports young talent in the areas of music, theater, visual arts, photography, writing, and cinematic arts.  This year, YoungArts received portfolio submissions from over 12,000 young artists nationwide – their most competitive year ever. These were evaluated through a blind adjudication process by a nationally and internationally renowned panel of judges, master teachers, and artists. The results, announced this month, identify four students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program as winners in Cinematic Arts - more than any other school save the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, which also had four winning film students.

Ballard’s winning filmmakers are Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer, Sho Schrock-Manabe and Meagen Tajalle.  YoungArts winners receive cash awards, validation by renowned mentors, and opportunities to participate in YoungArts programs in Los Angeles, Miami and New York City.

Coleman Andersen (’15) achieved the highest possible YoungArts ranking – that of Finalist.  He had entered his dramatic short Stolen, which he produced with Leo Pfeifer during his senior year at BHS.  The short has previously won Best Drama prizes at the Chicago International Film Festival’s CineYouth event and the All American High School Film Festival in New York City.  It also won National Student Television Awards of Excellence for Short Form Fiction and Writing at the Northwest Emmy Awards last spring.  Coleman is currently a freshman in the film program at New York University. 

Leo Pfeifer, a senior at BHS, is a YoungArts Merit Winner for his documentary Clipped Wings, (produced with Coleman Andersen and Duncan Gowdy).  This examination of the ban on gays by the Boy Scouts of America has also seen festival success, including an Audience Award at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, 1st Prize in the Documentary category at the 2015 Dominique Dunne Film Competition, and National Student Television Awards of Excellence for Best Long Form Non-fiction and Photographer/Editor at the Northwest Emmy Awards.  Leo plans to study filmmaking in college next year. 

Sho Schrock-Manabe (’15) is a YoungArts Merit Winner for his music video Hologram, (produced during his senior year at BHS with Miles Andersen, Emily Black, Sophie DeGreen, and Jesse Romero).  The narrative music video contrasts the challenges of art and life.  It recently won Best of Show at the Eppfilms & Artistic by Design Center 2015 Film & Photography Showcase in Cleveland.  Sho is currently a freshman in the Creative Producing program at Chapman University. 

Meagen Tajalle, a senior at BHS, is a YoungArts Merit Winner for her documentary Raven Rock, (produced with Rachel Cole and Jaya Flanary).  The film examines a treatment program that pairs survivors of childhood abuse with rescued horses for mutual healing.  It was previously a winner at Fresh Film Northwest (a regional festival inviting competition from five Northwest states) and also took 2nd Prize in the Documentary category at the 2015 Dominique Dunne Film Competition.  Meagen plans to study filmmaking in college.

All these productions can be seen on the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program's vimeo page at www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram .  

Sunday, November 29, 2015

BALLARD FILMMAKERS WIN AT FIVE-STATE FESTIVAL


Two short films by students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program were honored by 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.  This is the eleventh year in a row that students from Ballard’s Digital Filmmaking Program have been among the winners. 

The music video Today, by Coleman Andersen, PJ Hase and Bergen Johnson, was one of only a dozen films selected for the festival’s Winners Program.  Set to the song of the same title by The Lovely Static (a BHS band comprised of Percy Boyle, Jasper Cote, and Gus Meyer), the video contrasts the daily grind in an office cubicle with the wide world outside.  The visual story Anne, by Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary and Meagen Tajalle, received an Honorable Mention.  The short explores the importance of human connection for the elderly. 

A jury of filmmakers and educators screened nearly 100 entries from across the five- state region to select winners for the festival.  The winning films were screened at the Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium on November 14.  The Ballard shorts can now be seen online at www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram .

To see new work by BHS filmmakers, attend the Ballard Film Festival on Saturday, February 6 or Friday, February 26 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium.  Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students.  All proceeds support students in the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BALLARD FILMMAKERS WIN BEST DRAMA AT NATIONAL FESTIVAL

Stolen - a film by Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking students Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, won Best Drama at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City.  The award was presented on Sunday, October 11 at the 2015 Teen Indie Awards in Manhattan’s historic Kings Theater. 

Pfeifer, a 4th year student in the Digital Filmmaking Program who plans to study film in college, travelled to New York to attend the festival.  Anderson (BHS ’15) is now a freshman studying film at New York University.  The two co-produced Stolen at BHS last fall.

It was a good night for the Ballard filmmakers.  In addition to Best Drama, Stolen was also a Finalist for Best Screenplay and Best Overall Film.  Clipped Wings - also by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, with Duncan Gowdy - was a Finalist for Best Directing, Best Documentary, and Best Overall Film.  The films were judged by a prestigious jury including professionals such as screenwriter Diablo Cody, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and actors Kristen Stewart and Dylan McDermott.  

Air Pressure (again by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, with Josh Vredevoogd) was also an Official Selection of the festival.

Stolen questions the cost of revenge.  Clipped Wings tells the story of those most affected by the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members.  Air Pressure examines the aftermath of a disaster at the Balloon Animal World Championships.  To see the films, visit the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program vimeo site at www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram . 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

NATIONAL FESTIVAL TO SCREEN WORK BY BHS FILMMAKERS

Three productions by students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program have been named Official Selections of the All American Film Festival.  The festival is the largest high school film festival in the world, and receives competition from high school filmmakers throughout the country.  The festival will run October 9 - 11 in New York City at Planet Hollywood, AMC Theatres Times Square, and the historic Kings Theater.  Films are evaluated by prestigious judges such as screenwriter Diablo Cody, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and actors Kristen Stewart and Dylan McDermott.  Official Selections are eligible for awards in a number of categories.  Awards will be presented at the Teen Indie Awards event at the conclusion of the festival.
Ballard’s Official Selection in the Documentary category is Clipped Wings by Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer.  The film tells the story of those most affected by the Boy Scouts ban on gay members.  In the Drama category, Ballard students have two Official Selections.  Air Pressure (by Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer, and Josh Vredevoogd) examines the aftermath of a disaster at the Balloon Animal World Championships.   Stolen (also by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer) questions the cost of revenge.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

SIFF PRIZE-WINNER SCREENS AT MORE FESTIVALS

Since winning the Grand Jury’s WaveMaker Award at the Seattle International Film Festival last June, Audio Input, the documentary short by Duncan Boszko, Jack O’Neal, Piper Phillips & Sho Schrock, has been sought out by other international festivals.  In July, it was an Official Selection at the Tumbleweed Film Festival.  Currently, it’s an Official Selection at the CineShift Film Festival in Anacortes, and it is also an Official Selection of the All Seas Film Festival - an online event coming up on September 24th.  The film explores the reasons and rewards of Seattle podcasters.

Media Coverage

YOUNG BLOOD: SEATTLE-AREA HIGH SCHOOL BOASTS AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKING PROGRAM (Media Inc., August 3, 2015)

Media Coverage

FILM ABOUT GEOFORCE PROGRAM WINS AT REGIONAL EMMY AWARDS CEREMONY (Alaska Business Monthly, June 10, 2015)

Media Coverage

BHS STUDENTS NOMINATED FOR AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE (Media Inc., May 29, 2015)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Media Coverage

'BALLARD TOUCH' IS GETTING HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS NOTICED (The Seattle Times, January 2, 2014)

Media Coverage

BALLARD HIGH STUDENTS GO HOLLYWOOD AS BUDDING FILMMAKERS (Seattle P-I, January 11, 2007)

Media Coverage

GAMBLE PAYS OFF FOR YOUNG BALLARD FILMMAKER (The Seattle Times, April 7, 2005)




ABOUT THE DIGITAL FILMMAKING PROGRAM


The Digital Filmmaking Program is part of the free public education at Ballard High School, and is open to BHS students of all grades.  Since its beginning in the fall of 2001, students in the program have won hundreds of awards at regional, national, and international film festivals.  Based on their portfolios they have won honors from the National YoungArts Foundation and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (at the National and Northwest Emmy Awards) and consistently gained admission to prestigious college programs of film and television, sometimes with large scholarships and advanced placement.  (Recent program graduates have attended the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, Chapman University, Columbia College of Chicago, Emerson College, Loyola Marymount University, New York University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Southern California – all college programs ranked by the Hollywood Reporter as among the best for film and television production in the world.)

Some of the students have even made history.  Jesse Harris (’04) wrote and directed a feature film for his senior project.  The day he graduated, he learned that the LA-based FilmMates wanted to purchase the film for theatrical release.  (It opened in Landmark Theaters the following April.)  This makes Jesse the youngest person ever to write and direct a feature film that received multi-state theatrical release.  In 2007, Kyle Seago (’07) and Jesse Harris (’04) co-founded the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).  It has since become the largest youth film festival in the world.

The program provides professional production internships through a variety of media organizations and businesses, television shows, and feature films.  Numerous program alumni have gone on to careers in the industry: writing or producing series television programs in Los Angeles, producing music videos for major artists, directing commercials, working on the camera crew or art department of feature films, producing media for major corporations, or working as broadcast journalists.