Filmmakers in the making

West Milford students earn awards at recent film festivals


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  • April DePrima, left, and Annie Ney, right, won second place in the Music Videos category at the Passaic County Film Festival recently. Frankie Lagana, center, placed third in the public service announcement film category, where he warned of the dangers of texting while driving and walking.




  • Kasey Dondershine and Nick Rosone placed first in the short film category at the Passaic County Film Festival



West Milford High School TV Communication Arts students “did exceptionally well once again” at the 10th annual Passaic County Film Festival, according to a press release from the district. The film festival took place at the Fabian 8 cinemas in Center City Mall, Paterson in April. The categories were music video, PSA, short film, documentary, and independent films.

“I think the film festival was a great time and I'm very thankful to the Passaic County Film commission for continuing to give students such a wonderful opportunity to showcase their creative talents,” said TV Communication Arts class teacher Michael Padilla.

The 2014 Passaic County Film Festival winning entries from West Milford were:

Short Film: First Place
Nick Rosone and Kasey Dondershine took first place in the short film category with their entry, “Man vs. Wild.” Padilla said the short film “is a mockumentary video about a boy who becomes addicted to the show "Man vs. Wild," and then takes it overboard.”

Music Videos: Second Place
Annie Ney and April DePrima won second place in the Music Videos category with their submission, “1, 2 Step,” a music video to the song created by Ciara. “The two girls who produced it had a great time and got really creative with the camera shots and editing.” Padilla said.

PSA: Third Place
Frankie Lagana was awarded third place for his public service announcement film, which Padilla said highlights the dangers of driving/walking while texting.

Independent Film: First and Second Place

Two West Milford alumni, Jack Romano and Casey O'Connell, won first and second place in the Independent Film category at the festival for their entries.

Students Keep Reeling in the Awards…

On the heels of their success at the Passaic County Film Festival, several students’ videos were also showcased at the Hendrick Hudson Film Festival in May, hoping to win some more awards. And win they did! Lagana’s PSA film placed second in the PSA category, and Kevin Barthold and Mike Uhr placed first in the experimental category with their abstract video entitled “Relationship Advice.”

“My students continue to make me proud with the work they do and it's great to see their dedication pay off through placing in film festivals around the area,” Padilla said.


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