Arts & Culture Millburn Schools / Kids

Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills Announces Winners of 7th Annual Film Fest

The Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills will be showcasing nine winning films at the 7th Annual Millburn Film Fest, Friday, April 20th, 7:00 p.m. at Millburn High School. The community is invited to walk the red carpet, have their photo taken and view films that Millburn Middle School and Millburn High School students have created. Tickets are available to purchase online for $10 at

This year’s judging panel consisted of Michael Klein, David Koh, Laraine Brennan-Barach, Cathy Scorsese, Victoria Plummer, Andrew Permision, Amy McGovern, Judith Kramer, Kathi Hecht, Donna Davis, and Orna Greenberg. The top filmmaker will receive a scholarship to New York Film Academy’s one-week summer film camp.

The short films span a variety of genres from an original music video, to a documentary about the Holocaust, another about the turmoil of getting into college, and an animation showing the strength of women standing together.

The Winning Filmmakers/Films

MHS junior Kyle Farscht explores relationships and an unexpected twist of fate in “Coffee”. Matthew Green, MHS junior and Tori Sonza, MHS senior performances star in this emotional film. Farscht wrote, directed, filmed, color corrected, and edited this drama.

This year’s youngest filmmaker, MMS 7th grader Carli Platt, examines the complicated topic of the Holocaust in her film “In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust.” The documentary chronicles the life of Wilhelmina De Kadt, a child of the Holocaust. As a Hidden Child of the Holocaust, De Kadt had her parents, childhood, even religious identity stripped from her in spite of her being spared from the concentration camps. Platt served as writer, director narrator, and editor and recruited older brother Tyler, MHS Senior, to be the cinematographer for her documentary.

Cynthia Cheng, MHS senior, shows a misunderstood relationship between an academically strong girl and a boy who needs a tutor for his test in “Parallel Lines.” Cheng created this collaborative mass media project (co-directed & filmed) with fellow MHS Seniors: Jasmine Guan (co-directed, writer, & lead female actor) Spencer Estes (lead male actor), Lana Ning (co-editor), Nicole Villalba (co-editor), Megan Chien (actor), Vanessa Jiang (actor), Aidan Chalnick (actor), and Terrence Shi (actor).

MMS 8th grader Danielle Lee follows a boy who realizes the deadline for his essay is tomorrow, and he hasn’t finished in the comedy “Procrastination.” Lee directed, filmed, edited, wrote & submitted this entertaining satire.

MMS sophomore Eliza Tagle traveled to Makato in the Philippines to film her documentary “School Girls,”. The film is a look at the lives of three teens, Monica Taladtad and Jeanelyn & Georgelyn Batoy, who work as household help for a family so they can attend school. Tagle directed, wrote, filmed and edited this documentary.

Sema Madahar, Millburn High School, wrote, directed, and filmed a music video for fellow sophomore Sofia Baran’s original song “Swindler.” The video features Baran as well as fellow sophomores Aoife Weiss, Drew Demeterio.

“The Decision,” tells the story of two students who apply to their dream school and how their friendship is tested when they receive differing decisions. How much is a dream college admission worth? MHS Seniors Maddy Freeman (producer, director, co-writer, co-cinematographer, editor, actor), Brad Klein (producer, co-writer, co-cinematographer, and actor), Sophie Richman (producer, co-writer, and actor), Jason Wei (producer, co-cinematographer, and actor), Ben Pearl (producer and actor) and Ariel Neyman (producer and actor) created this drama as a mass media project. Millburn High School’s Ms. Krueger and Dr. Keenan have supporting roles in the film.

Throughout history, strong women have faced accusations of witchcraft. Sophomore Alex DeRosa’s animated film “Unburned,” is the story of one such young woman whose ability provokes fear and violence in her community. In her moment of need, she discovers that the support of other women is the only thing that can save her. DeRosa wrote, animated directed, and edited this film.

“Unexpected Gap Year” is a coming of age film about a high school senior applying to college. The film follows Miriam, as she forges her path that may fly in the face of convention and the expectations of her family. Seniors Miriam Harrow and Ariel Riseman co-wrote the film while Riseman directed, and edited it. The film also features actors Emily Fried, Rachel Broder, Vivian Harrow, Alex Harrow, Max Harrow, Sophia Hoodis, Amanda Model, Maanya Tandon and Holly Graziano.

The Red Carpet Premiere is made possible thanks to “Academy Award” Sponsors The Shannon Aronson Group and New York Film Academy; “Studio” Sponsors Jodi Rubenstein & Joanna Parker-Lentz Realty Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, PNC Wealth Management, and “Producer” Sponsor The Gonnella Team.

Tickets are available online at

There will be a daytime encore performance Thursday, April 26 at 11 a.m. at Millburn Bow-Tie Cinemas. In addition to the nine winning films, two additional films will be screened; “Wasted Generation” by MHS Senior Kate Parker-Lentz and “Entrée,” by Kyle Farscht.

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