Wednesday, March 25, 2015


The National YoungArts Foundation has awarded Coleman Andersen an Honorable Mention in Cinematic Arts in recognition of the “exceptional artistic achievement” evident in his work. The YoungArts program identifies and supports young talent in the areas of music, theater, visual arts, photography, writing, and cinematic arts (motion picture). Coleman’s production was selected for honors from more than 11,000 submissions nationwide through a blind adjudication process by a nationally and internationally renowned panel of judges, master teachers, and artists.

A third year student in Ballard’s Digital Filmmaking Program, Coleman is no stranger to recognition. His short film Air Pressure, created with classmates Leo Pfeifer and Josh Vredevoogd, has already won awards at the Northwest High School Film Festival, Fresh Film Northwest, the Dominique Dunne Film Competition, and the Northwest Regional Emmy Awards. The short concerns a catastrophe at the World Balloon Animal Championships. His documentary Clipped Wings, created with classmates Duncan Gowdy and Leo Pfeifer, has also been a success at festivals and on YouTube, were it has received over 195,000 views. It explores the ban on gays in the Boy Scouts of America.

A senior at BHS, Coleman has gained admission to some of the most competitive and prestigious college programs for film and television production in the country. Next fall he’ll be studying filmmaking at New York University.

This is the second year in a row that a student from Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program has been awarded by the YoungArts Foundation.

Sunday, March 01, 2015


Lily Bennett (Class of 2012)

We live in a competitive culture, school is a competitive environment, and film is a competitive field. By the time I was a junior in high school, I already had a clear idea of how to pursue my goals, but I thought my chances of getting into a film school were slim at best. The path from high school to university appeared to be strict and concrete: must needed all-round outstanding academic and extra-curricular achievements. But by the time I was a junior in high school, I'd not been able to tick off all those boxes. However, I had been able to tick off a few boxes of my own: a strong film portfolio containing official selections at regional, national, and international film festivals, and awards of excellence. I was worried, though. I thought "how much does a college really care about what I've done in a high school film program?"

In 2013 I was accepted into the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). AFTRS is the most rigorous film school in Australia. The schools application process judged on merit, meaning that a panel sat down and evaluated my work. Thanks to the portfolio of narrative shorts, documentaries, music videos, and PSAs that I had created over my four years in Lawrence's classes (as well as an Australian citizenship) I was able to get into my dream school! On my first day of class I realized I had some of the most experience among my classmates with story, camera, lights, and on-set safety. Now, just over a year later, I've worked on countless student productions, Production Assisted on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and was a Costume Assistant on the feature film Mad Max Fury Road. This goes to show that one great opportunity leads to the next, and the Ballard Digital Filmmaking Program is the first great opportunity. The work you produce in these classes will be valuable to you in the years ahead. I am so grateful to have been a part of such a program. It opened the doors to my greatest career goals.