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High School Filmmakers Recognized and Awarded At Ramapo College’s Sixth Annual Film Festival

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 31, 2023

High School Film Festival 1.29.23

MAHWAH, N.J. – Just a few days after Oscar nominations blanketed news channels, Ramapo College’s sixth annual RCNJ High School Film Festival took center stage on Saturday, January 28th at the Berrie Center on campus.  More than 150 films were submitted by students from high schools across New Jersey. Among the more than 40 high schools that participated, submissions hailed from nearby Bergen County Academies in Bergen County, Passaic County Technical Institute in neighboring Passaic County, Bayonne High School in Hudson County, and even as far south as Middletown and Raritan High Schools in Monmouth County.

The official selections included 42 films chosen by a panel of Ramapo College film faculty, current Ramapo film students and industry professionals.  Students entered original films in a variety of genres and were awarded in several categories including Best Editing, Best Writing, Best Cinematography, Best Acting, Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best Fiction Film, and Best of the Fest. Each entrant received an Oscar-type statuette. Approximately $5,000 in film equipment and software awards were distributed to winners from sponsors of the event.   Reflecting on the success of the  event, Neel Scott, Associate Professor of Digital Filmmaking at Ramapo College shared, “This was the sixth annual festival and our biggest yet, with over 200 filmmakers, friends, parents, cast and crew packing the Berrie Center’s Sharp Theater to watch 42 films of every type and genre from dozens of high schools all across New Jersey. If the films from the festival are any evidence, the next generation of New Jersey filmmakers is very talented. We look forward to continuing to grow the festival each year, and to screening the impressive work of New Jersey high school students.”

The winners included:

Best Cinematography
23, directed by Anthony Conte
Lakeland Regional High School

Best Editing
Why My Room is Never Clean, directed by Sharice Lacson
High Tech High School

Best Screenwriting
TARDY! written by Joshua Apostolico and Jarrett Jackson
Columbia High School

Best Actor
Caroline Sheridan, SHREDS OF EVIDENCE
Park Ridge High School

Best Documentary
Maya Zeidman,  ISLA NENA
East Brunswick Magnet School – School of the Arts

Best Fiction Film
Columbia High School

Best Animation
Leonardo Tarascio for CRISIS
River Dell Regional High School

Best of the Fest
Gabrielle Werts for A CASE OF YOU
East Brunswick Magnet School – School of the Arts

Planning will soon be underway for next year’s festival. Visit the RCNJ Film Festival website for more information.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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