Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Media Coverage

'Ballard Touch' is getting High School Filmmakers Noticed (Seattle Times)

Media Coverage

Ballard High Students Go Hollywood as Budding Filmmakers (Seattle P-I)

Media Coverage

Gamble Pays Off for Young Ballard Filmmaker (Seattle Times)




About the Digital Filmmaking Program

The Digital Filmmaking Program is part of the free public education at Ballard High School, and is open to BHS students of all grades.  Since its beginning in the fall of 2001, students in the program have won hundreds of awards at regional, state, national, and international film festivals.  Based on their portfolios they have won honors from the National YoungArts Foundation and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (at the NW Regional Emmy Awards) and consistently gained admission to prestigious college film and television programs, sometimes with large scholarships and advanced placement.  (Recent program graduates are currently studying at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, Chapman University, Columbia College of Chicago, Emerson College, Loyola Marymount University, New York University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Southern California – all college programs ranked by the Hollywood Reporter as among the best for film and television production in the world.)

Some of the students have even made history.  Jesse Harris (’04) wrote and directed a feature film for his senior project.  The day he graduated, he learned that the LA-based FilmMates wanted to purchase the film for theatrical release.  (It opened in Landmark Theaters the following April.)  This makes Jesse the youngest person ever to write and direct a feature film that received multi-state theatrical release.  In 2007, Kyle Seago (’07) and Jesse Harris (’04) co-founded the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).  It has since become the largest youth film festival in the world.

The program provides professional production internships through a variety of media organizations and businesses, television shows, and feature films.  Numerous program alumni have gone on to careers in the industry: writing or producing series television programs in Los Angeles, directing commercials, working on the camera crew or art department of feature films, producing media for major corporations, or working as broadcast journalists.

Monday, June 08, 2015

BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS SWEEP DOCUMENTARY PRIZES

Students from the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program swept both Documentary awards at the 2015 Dominique Dunne Film Competition.  The competition was one of the first events in the nation to showcase the work of young filmmakers and has attracted international entries.  It has a distinguished Advisory Board including producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. (of The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Samuel Goldwyn Films), actor/director Griffin Dunne (An American Werewolf in London, After Hours, The Good Wife) and producer/ director/actor Ed Sherin (Law & Order).  The competition awards only four prizes: two for Dramatic, and two for Documentary.  Only schools with outstanding film programs are invited to participate. 

Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy and Leo Pfeifer won First Prize in the Documentary category for Clipped Wings, an examination of the ban on gays in the Boy Scouts of America.  Second Prize went to Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary and Meagen Tajalle for Raven Rock, a ranch that treats abused children through equine therapy.  The awards come with cash prizes.

Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer also received an Honorable Mention in the Dramatic Narrative category for their short film Stolen

To see the films, visit the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program at www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram .

BALLARD FILM STUDENTS WIN GRAND JURY PRIZE AT SIFF

The Grand Jury of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) selected the short documentary Audio Input, by Duncan Boszko, Jack O’Neal, Piper Phillips & Sho Schrock, for the WaveMaker Award.  The prize was presented yesterday at the Golden Space Needle Awards, the culminating event of the festival.  The WaveMaker Award is given annually to the best film shown in the FutureWave screening.  This screening features the best shorts by filmmakers younger than 19 from around the world.  The jury selected the production “for its insightful and engaging portrait of podcasting, an audio art form, through a collage of interviews and images.” 


To screen Audio Input, visit the Digital Filmmaking Program’s vimeo page at www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram .  

BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS WIN BIG AT EMMY AWARDS

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Students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program won five High School Awards of Excellence at the regional Emmy Awards on June 5.  Coleman Andersen & Leo Pfeifer won the awards for Short Form Fiction and Writing for their film Stolen.  The drama concerns the price of revenge.  For their documentary Clipped Wings, Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy and Leo Pfeifer won the awards for Long Form Non-Fiction and Photographer/Editor.  (This is the fourth year in a row that the award for Photographer/Editor has gone to Ballard film students.)  Clipped Wings explores the impact of the ban on gays in the Boy Scouts of America.  Finally, Leo Pfeifer and Raven Two Feathers won the Short Form Non-Fiction award for GeoForce: A Journey to Understanding.  This promotional documentary examines the strategies and success of a University of Alaska field geology program for rural youth.

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.  Students from the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program led the pack of winners this year, taking awards in five of the six categories in which they had received nominations.      

The award winning productions can be screened on the program vimeo site at www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram .  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NORTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL FILM FESTIVAL HONORS BHS FILMMAKERS



Students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program led the pack of winners at the Northwest High School Film Festival.  Twenty-five high schools were in competition for awards in twelve different production categories.  BHS film students won 15 awards and honors across seven categories.  The awards were presented, and the winners screened, at the Cinerama Theater in downtown Seattle. 



The Northwest High School Film Festival is the largest and longest running festival for high school filmmakers in the Puget Sound region.  It is judged by a panel of industry professionals and college media professors.  In addition to awarding films, they identify promising filmmakers for college scholarships.  This year, BHS film students Coleman Andersen, Duncan Boszko, Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary, Duncan Gowdy, Leo Pfeifer & Meagen Tajalle all received $5,000 scholarship offers from festival sponsors Cornish College of the Arts and/or The Seattle Film Institute.  The event was organized by the Media Educators Excellence Team (MEET), an inter-district organization of high school media production teachers.  Additional sponsors Adobe, the Cinerama Theatre, Highline Community College, and Vulcan Enterprises helped pave the way for this 17th annual event.  For more information on the festival, visit www.nwhsff.weebly,org .



All the awarded Ballard productions initially premiered at the Ballard Film Festival (BFF).  This event screens new films by BHS Digital Filmmaking students at the end of every semester.  The next BFF will be on Friday, June 5 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium.  Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be sold at the door.

 

Here are Ballard’s Northwest High School Film Festival winners by category:



AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE


Comedic Narrative

  Jones Ave

  Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary, Meagen Tajalle



Commercial

  Nerd!

  Bella Anderson, Jonny Cechony, Kaya Coleman-Harrison, Simon Gibson



Documentary

  Audio Input

  Duncan Boszko, Jack O’Neal, Piper Phillips, Sho Schrock



  Clipped Wings

  Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy, Leo Pfeifer



Dramatic Narrative

  Stolen

  Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer



Educational

  A Trip to the Groovies

  Jaya Flanary, Sho Schrock



News/Sports Feature

  Full Effort on the Floor

  Duncan Gowdy, Hawk Ticehurst



Public Service Announcement

  Food Lifeline

  Duncan Gowdy, Zach Green, Leo Pfeifer



HONORABLE MENTIONS 
Comedic Narrative

  Fly Me to the Moon

  Miles Anderson, Jasper Cote, PJ Hase, Gideon Wolfe



  Practicing Parenthood

  Percy Boyle, Avery Davis, Duncan Kastner, Aaron Miller  



Commercial

  Blue Highway Games

  Brian Cropp, Lyric Gonzalez, Sid Johnson  



Documentary

  Delivering the Dream

  Julian Amrine, Lorenzo Rossi, Raven Two Feathers, Josh Vredevoogd



  Raven Rock

  Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary, Meagen Tajalle



Educational

  Spirit Week Announcement

  Will Erstad, Victoria O’Laughlin, Hawk Ticehurst



Public Service Announcement

  Membership

  Ruby Anderson, PJ Hase, Cameron Miller


Sunday, May 17, 2015

ACADEMY NOMINATES BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS

The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced nominees for the High School Awards of Excellence. These awards celebrate the most outstanding student productions from five Northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Productions are nominated by NATAS industry professionals. Students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program earned eleven nominations, more than any other school or organization in the five-state region. The winners will be announced on June 6 at the 52nd Annual Regional Emmy Awards ceremony. Ballard’s nominations span six categories, reflecting the diverse skills students learn in the program. These are the nominations by category.

Short Form Fiction:
Fly Me to the Moon by Miles Andersen, Jasper Cote, PJ Hase & Gideon Wolfe

Stolen by Coleman Andersen & Leo Pfeifer


Short Form Non-Fiction:
Audio Input by Duncan Boszko, Jack O’Neal, Piper Phillips & Sho Schrock-Manabe

GeoFORCE: A Journey to Understanding by LeoPfeifer & Raven Two Feathers

Raven Rock by Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary & Meagen Tajalle


Long Form Non-Fiction:
Clipped Wings by Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer


Public Service Announcement:
Food Lifeline by Duncan Gowdy, Leo Pfeifer & Zach Green

Membership by Ruby Anderson, PJ Hase & Cameron Miller


Photographer/Editor:
Clipped Wings by Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer


Writer:
Clipped Wings by Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer

Stolen by Coleman Andersen & Leo Pfeifer

This makes the ninth year in a row that Ballard High School film students have been nominated by the Academy. Last year they also received 11 nominations, and won the categories of Short Form Fiction and Photographer/Editor.

New productions by students in the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program will be screened at the Ballard Film Festival on Friday, June 5th at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

BALLARD FILM STUDENTS WIN BEST DRAMA AT CINEYOUTH

Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer won Best Drama in the junior division at the CineYouth Awards last Saturday night, May 9, at Columbia College Chicago. They won the prize for their short film Stolen.

CineYouth is a project of the Chicago International Film Festival. This annual film showcase celebrates shorts by filmmakers 21 years old and younger from around the world. As winner of the prize for Best Drama, Stolen will screen in the CineYouth "Best of the Fest" at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival next October.

Both Andersen and Pfeifer are third year students in the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program. Andersen, a senior, will be continuing his film education at NYU next fall. Pfeifer, a junior, also plans to study filmmaking in college.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

BALLARD FILMS TO SCREEN AT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS

Three productions by nine students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program have been chosen for screening at international film festivals this May.

Two of the productions will be screened at the Chicago International Film Festival. Raven Rock, by Rachel Cole, Jaya Flanary & Meagen Tajalle is a documentary about a treatment program that pairs survivors of childhood abuse with abused horses for mutual healing. Stolen, by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, is a dramatic short about the price of crime. Both films will be screened at the 11th annual CineYouth event, May 7 – 9. CineYouth is an annual youth film showcase celebrating short films made by filmmakers 21 years old and younger from around the world. For more information, visit www.cinemachicago.org/cineyouth/ .

Audio Input, by Duncan Boszko, Jack O’Neal, Piper Phillips & Sho Schrock, is an Official Selection of the Seattle International Film Festival. This short documentary explores the Seattle podcasting scene. It will be screened in the FutureWave Shorts program at SIFF on Monday, May 25. The FutureWave event features the best shorts by filmmakers younger than 18 years from around the world. For more information, visit www.siff.net/festival-2015 .

BALLARD FILMMAKERS WIN AT NFFTY

Students from Ballard High School's Digital Filmmaking Program took two prizes at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).

Lyric Gonzalez, Bergen Johnson, Leo Pfeifer, Stephanie Shao, and Meagen Tajalle took 1st Prize in the 48-Hour Film Off. This filmmaking competition gave teams of students from various high school production programs 48 hours to produce a short film that included a given line of dialogue (“It’s a state of mind.”), character (a pirate), and theme (see summer). The Ballard team created a mockumentary about an inept movie pirate. Their prize was a $1,500 donation to Ballard's Digital Filmmaking Program. BHS is now the only school ever to win the competition twice. (They received 2nd Prize last year, and won the competition last time in 2010.)

Ballard filmmakers Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy and Leo Pfeifer also won the Audience Award from NFFTY’s “Come as You Are” program of shorts films. Their winning short was Clipped Wings, a documentary about the ban on gays in the Boy Scouts of America. To see Clipped Wings and other productions from the Ballard Digital Filmmaking Program, visit www.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram .

The winner of the 48-Hour Film Off will be screened at the Ballard Film Festival on Friday, June 5 at 7 pm in the Ballard High School auditorium.

Friday, April 17, 2015

NFFTY to Feature Shorts by Ballard High School Filmmakers

Three short films by students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program have been named Official Selections of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). This competitive festival showcases outstanding work by filmmakers age 24 and younger. NFFTY is a rare opportunity for high school students to share the spotlight with college students from our nation’s best undergraduate and graduate film schools. This year NFFTY will feature 248 films from 30 states and 25 countries. Screeners made the selections from a pool of nearly 1,000 entries. NFFTY opens at the Seattle Cinerama Theater on Thursday, April 23 and continues through Sunday, April 26 at the Seattle Center.

These short films by Ballard High School film students have been selected for screening.

Air Pressure by Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer & Josh Vredevoogd

Clipped Wings by Coleman Andersen, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer

Stolen by Coleman Andersen & Leo Pfeifer

BHS also has a team competing in the 48-hour Film Off. Teams from 10 high schools have two days to produce a short from start to finish. The winner (selected in part by the audience) will win funds for their school’s production program. Ballard’s team consists of Lyric Gonzalez, Bergen Johnson, Leo Pfeifer, Stephanie Shao and Meagen Tajalle. You can catch the 48-Hour Film Off – and cast your vote - on Saturday, April 25 at 1:30 pm at the Uptown 1 Theater.

In addition to screenings and awards, NFFTY includes forums on filmmaking. For a complete schedule of events, show times, and ticket information, visit www.nffty.org.

NFFTY itself is the brainchild of Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking alumnus Jesse Harris (’04). Harris made history in 2004 when Living Life, the feature film he had written and directed as a senior project, was purchased by FilmMates and given a theatrical release. (It opened in Seattle in April, 2005.) The festival was co-founded by Harris, Kyle Seago (’07) – a Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking student at the time - and Jocelyn RC (Bellevue High School, ’07). A growing list of sponsors and partners paved the way for this ninth annual event.