Arts & Culture Schools / Kids

Get a Peek Inside the Creative Minds of Young SOMA Filmmakers March 11

A security guard in the Louvre falls asleep and three famous paintings are in jeopardy.

Cellphone addiction is seen through the lens of a good ol’ rotary phone.

A ball in search of happiness has unexpected adventures while seeking a companion.

These are just a few of the scenarios brought to life by the creative minds of Columbia High School filmmakers and animators who have been chosen as finalists in the Young Filmmakers Track of the 2017 SOMA Film Festival.

“Grom,” the Louvre security guard story, comes from Lucas Kensinger and Owen Gall. Ben Krueger is the auteur behind “Rotary.” And “The Search for Happiness” was made by Jacob Hirsch.

Other CHS students recognized by Cinema Ed, the non-profit running the Young Filmmakers Track, include:

  • Cobs: One Kernel at a Time -Jasper Schuetz – A in-depth study of the young winner of a Connecticut sweet corn eating contest. Columbia HS
  • Football Documentary – Ralph Ravix – A look at how a high school and their team keep up morale during tough football times. Columbia HS
  • The Cool Kids: A CHS Mockumentary – Max Goldstein and Aidan Romanaux – A day-by-day look at how to make a documentary film for your high school film class … well, sort of. Columbia HS
  • A Hard Day – Edmond Toussaint – Have you ever had a hard day? Joe is a kid who had a really bad day. Columbia HS
  • Howl – Talia Rhinehart – A new take on Little Red Riding Hood. Columbia HS
  • Boo – Micheal Afriye, Matilda McDougall, Derrick Mornvil  – A little tale of frustrated ghosts. Columbia HS

According to Cinema Ed’s Richard Stephen Bell, dozens of live action and animated films were submitted by high school students from as far away as California and England, but the 15 finalist films were created by New Jersey students — many from local schools. In fact, all of the animation finalists are from Columbia High School and were instructed by Paul Marigliano. Two finalists come from Millburn HS:

  • 2:32 – Brendan Weissman –  Two high school seniors must find a missing late library book by the end of the day in order to graduate
  • Heba’s Story – Ariel Riseman – A timely story about Heba and her family, who are Syrian refugees living in Elizabeth, NJ. Millburn HS

Professional filmmakers will judge the finalists in the three categories: narrative, documentary and animated. Cinema Ed will recognize award-winning films and their directors at a special awards ceremony at the Young Filmmakers screening event to be held at the Maplewood Theater (155 Maplewood Avenue in Maplewood, NJ) on Saturday, March 11 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Purchase tickets here: www.cinemaed.org/2017-yf-track

The Finalists are:

2017 Young Filmmakers Finalists – Narrative Short

  • Brains, Trains and Automobiles – Ben Krueger – What’s going on up there?   A not-so-scientific look at the way the mind works. Columbia HS
  • Spare Some Change – Logan Calder – A homeless boy and his search for help. Westfield HS
  • Unforgotten – Jessica Zheng – A girl haunted by the death of her best friend must learn to forgive and forget. Chatham HS
  • Rotary – Ben Krueger – Who needs cell phones when you got the good old rotary? Cellphone addiction shown in a new light. Columbia HS
  • 2:32 – Brendan Weissman –  Two high school seniors must find a missing late library book by the end of the day in order to graduate. Millburn HS
  • Soldier – Logan Calder – A young boy yearns for a father overseas fighting in Afghanistan. Will he ever see him again? Westfield HS

2017 Young Filmmakers Finalists – Documentary Short 

  • Cobs:  One Kernel at a Time – Jasper Schuetz – A in-depth study of the young winner of a Connecticut sweet corn eating contest. Columbia HS
  • Football Documentary – Ralph Ravix – A look at how a high school and their team keep up morale during tough football times. Columbia HS
  • Heba’s Story – Ariel Riseman – A timely story about Heba and her family, who are Syrian refugees living in Elizabeth, NJ. Millburn HS
  • The Cool Kids: A CHS Mockumentary – Max Goldstein and Aidan Romanaux – A day-by-day look at how to make a documentary film for your high school film class … well, sort of. Columbia HS

2017 Young Filmmakers Finalists – Animated Short

  • A Hard Day – Edmond Toussaint – Have you ever had a hard day? Joe is a kid who had a really bad day. Columbia HS
  • The Search for Happiness – Jacob Hirsch – The journey of a ball in search of a companion that takes an unexpected turn. Columbia HS
  • Grom – Lucas Kensinger and Owen Gall – A security guard at the Louvre falls asleep and three famous paintings are in jeopardy. Columbia HS
  • Howl – Talia Rhinehart – A new take on Little Red Riding Hood. Columbia HS
  • Boo – Micheal Afriye, Matilda McDougall, Derrick Mornvil  – A little tale of frustrated ghosts. Columbia HS

To view the list of finalist films or to purchase tickets to the March 11 Young Filmmakers screening, visit: https://www.cinemaed.org/2017-yf-track

Launched in 2014, Cinema Ed is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to using independent film as a teaching tool for all students, especially those at-risk. To expand the reach of its innovative programs aimed at helping secondary school students connect with their curriculum, Cinema Ed collaborates with leaders across school districts, higher education institutions and the film industry. Its goals are to help students harness the storytelling power of today’s technologies and engage in filmmaking techniques and methods, and to share the creative results with the world.

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