Last night was movie night at the Holmdel High School auditorium, where 22 student-directed films and animated shorts were shown on the stage to an enthusiastic gathering of students and parents. There, on the big screen, was love, disappointment, exuberant hip-hop dancing and mystery, against the backdrop of the Hazlet train station, Piazza Italia pizzeria, and the nicely painted interiors of Holmdel houses.
The films were produced by students in the Television Production program at the High School, which has grown from three to five courses. Animated films were included this year. A powerful five-minute public service announcement produced by the students for the U Got Brains contest was shared for the first time. It depicted the horror of an accident caused by texting while driving. The compelling story caused the audience of mostly teenagers to suddenly become very quiet.
The head of the TV and Film program, David Kaiserman said, "As a teacher and mentor to these students I am very proud of the work they have accomplished. As much as I'd like to take credit for the festivals success-most of the credit goes to the students."
"This gave holmdel students a chance to really show off their talents and have a venue to show off their hard work and dedication." He said he hoped to build attendance at the event, which is open to all.
During intermission, students gave their 30-second reviews, with cups of popcorn in hand. Kaiserman, held his three-year old in the Commons and commented on how much he enjoyed being a spectator. So many long hours of work had gone into the festival, and it was a pleasure to watch from the seats. Holmdel Board of Education member Michael Sockol, who has a background in television, talked about how Holmdel’s program gives students a professional-level opportunity to explore the creative arts.
The Holmdel TV & Film Society produced the film festival.
At the end of the program, judges awarded the following prizes:
1st place: "Undefined" by Noah Rauchwerk & Phil LaRussa
2nd place: "Monday Morning Muffin Madness" by Chris Nevil
3rd place: "La Ferme" Rob Christie, Rebecca Hidalgo, & Niki Roth
Honorable Mention (Film): "Timeless" by Aashray Sardana
Honorable Mention (Animation): "Pokemon Z ep. 1" by Kevin Zheng
HCAA Award - "Strawberries" by Maytal Merhav & Lennon Cooper (Holmdel Creative Arts Association)