The 2013 Winners of the Amity Film Festival with their teachers.
The 9th annual Amity Film Festival took place at Amity High School on Thursday, June 13.
Back in 2005, the video arts was a fresh new offering in the Amity curriculum with Janice Holzer leading the way for future teachers.
Teacher Jonathan Furst was there from the beginning, too, teaching students about lighting, framing, editing and everything else they needed to know about making a good movie.
One of the most memorable films to come out of the Amity Film Festival was the 2009 film noire masterpiece entitled “White Toast,” the work of Greg Passik, Robert Gagne and Adam Kloc, which not only came in first at Amity, but went on to earn the 2009 American Visions Award.
The video classes quickly grew in popularity and students in Amity Middle School clamor to get into the freshman courses and then most likely will follow it through to their senior year.
This year’s festival included a couple of new categories, including
• 9th grade: “20 shots” films – showing the student’s ability to put a movie together using 20 different techniques and angles: Establishing shot; wide shot; close up shot; panning up and down, etc.
• 10th-12th grade: Video Poem.
• 10th-12th grade: Music Video.
9th Grade videos
About 28 Freshmen participated in this year’s festival.
Of the 4 entries in the 20 shots film category “The Kidnapping” by Christina Genovese, Alexandra Morgan and Kayla Metzger came in first.
There were 5 Public Service Announcements competing. The winner was “If you See Something, Say Something” by Ryan Metzger, Ryan Chizmadia, John Szoke and Mike Hart.
Of the 4 videos with a Story Set To Music, “Skyboy” by Grayson Arndt, Noah Simon, Kerry Wolff and Wendy Zhan was the judge’s choice.
10th-12th Grade Videos
About 33 Sophomore, Junior and Senior film students had work in the festival.
Steffie Sandoval won the Video Poem category with “Smile” showing Amity’s special needs students including herself (she uses a wheelchair) doing extraordinary and rather ordinary things in school.
As a judge, I noted that it was nice seeing Amity’s “Other” superstars in the spotlight.
There were 5 entries in the Documentary/News Package category. Josh Hess won with his informative piece, “Amity Powderpuff 2012.”
The following three categories were tough and very close (within one point) with the judges.
A Short Film entitled “Mischievous” by Josh Shaperow, Josh Timpko and Eric Goodman-Strycula came in first.
Lindsay Wiener, Tricia Thiompson and Peter Charney’s Music Video “Forest Gump Suite” won its’ category.
Finally, the Long Film “Wilted” by Jake White took the top prize at the festival for several reasons, the storyline, acting, and imagery were memorable.
The Festival was presented by the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation, and Judy Primavera, (Jamie’s mom) was there to present the winners with certificates. She will send them checks and a personal note in the mail.
In the past, Judy wrote the checks at the festival, but it became much too hectic.
Judging for the festival has changed over the years. For the first 7 years all of them were seated together at a long table and discussed the films before making a final decision.
Last year and this week, each judge numbered their choices in order and submitted them to the three video teachers, Furst, Elizabeth Smolinski, Jeremy Iverson and Primvavera, to tally. In some cases the judges were just as surprised as the audience to hear who the winner was.
Furst thanked the parents for all their help and patience during, driving their kids around and putting up with the long production schedules.
“It takes a tremendous amount of commitment,” Furst said. “So, thank you parents.”
Peter Charney said he and his fellow filmmakers were up all night doing a final edit on their video.
“It was about 30 minutes long and we had to cut out about 15 minutes (and still keep the flow) for the festival,” he said.
The Video Arts students did a remarkable job this year, and with all the advances in video programming, we will most likely see even more amazing work at next year’s festival.