Thursday, June 29, 2017

IMAX and UN Environment Release Documentary by BHS Film Students

On the Backs of Salmon, one of two documentaries produced by students in Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program for IMAX, premiered June 5 on IMAX’s and UN Environment’s websites.  The premiere was timed to coincide with the United Nations’ World Environment Day – the largest annual event for global actions to protect the environment.  “We are so proud of the work created by these budding filmmakers, which shines a light on important environmental issues as well as their own creative abilities,” said IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond. 

The project is the result of a partnership between IMAX In Focus (a component of IMAX Big Picture, their social responsibility effort) and United Nations’ Environment.  Ballard’s DFP was one of only five “exemplary” high school film programs across the nation chosen by IMAX and the All American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF) in New York City to produce environmental documentaries.  “We identified programs that… consistently submitted quality work,” said Tom Oliva, AAHSFF Executive Director.   IMAX awarded $5,000 to each program.  “The In Focus program aligns seamlessly with what we strive to achieve” Oliva said, “cultivating young filmmakers and recognizing their talented work."  

“The release of these documentaries on World Environment Day is a fitting testament to the importance of empowering our youth to use their voices to drive change for a better tomorrow,” said UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim.  “We support IMAX’s commitment to helping young filmmakers share these stories with a larger audience, hopefully resulting in changes that create a healthier environment.”  


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

BHS Filmmakers Win Big at the Emmy Awards

Students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program won five High School Awards of Excellence at the Northwest Emmy Awards on June 3.  Best Long Form Non-Fiction film went to 9066, a documentary about the internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry during WWII by Maya Konz, Bailey Wall, Kajsa Woolford & Nolan Baker.  Best Short Form Fiction film, best Writer, best Photographer/Editor and best Audio/Sound went to Comeback by Skala Leake, Aaron Miller, Cameron Miller & Avery Davis.  Comeback is the story of a soccer player coping with a life-altering setback.       

The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) presents High School Awards of Excellence to celebrate and promote the most outstanding high school television productions from five Northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.  Members of the professional Academy select the nominees and winners.  This is the third year in a row Ballard High School film students have led the pack of winners.  

New productions by students in Ballard's Digital Filmmaking Program will premiere at the Ballard Film Festival on Saturday, June 17 at 7:30 pm in the BHS auditorium.  Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults, and will be sold at the door.