Revere Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary and Terrific Films

 

The winners of the 10th Annual Paul Revere Film Festival.

By CHAZ PLAGER

It was a dark and… rather clear Friday night, as Paul Revere’s top film talent gathered to watch the Paul Revere Film Festival May 3rd. Organized by Jonathan Hyman and Lisa Robinson, this year’s film festival was the 10th Anniversary. To commemorate, this year’s festival had several winners from past years sprinkled in as the “Greatest Hits.”

“I mean, I say they’re the ‘Greatest Hits’, but that shouldn’t understate how proud we are of every student who’s ever submitted,” Hyman remarked. “Have you ever made a movie? It’s really hard.”

Twenty-five films were submitted this year, and seven of the “Greatest Hits” of the past were also shown. I took the time to interview a couple of the contenders and ask them their thoughts on this year’s competition.

Eighth grader Theodore Mihalev, who has submitted films over the past three years, said, “I always make documentaries. I thought for my last year of middle school I’d change it up a little. I got second in sixth grade and third last year, so I really hope I get first.”

Alec Benson, creator of Animafied, said, “I think I did a good job. Yeah.”

Outside the auditorium, Palisades High School students who also happened to be Revere alumni served concessions and entered visitors into a raffle for film studio-related goods. I entered, but did not win. Quite sad.

The 25 films were judged by three Paul Revere parents who are experts on the silver screen: Fred Coury (drummer of band CINDERELLA), Susan Fitzer (Film Editor at Skydance), and Frank Wolf (producer of several movie soundtracks, such as Toy Story and Monsters, Inc).

Now, while I would love to talk about each and every one of the wonderful films shown tonight, there were a whopping 32 shown, for a total runtime of 1 hour, 46 minutes. In the interests of brevity, I’ll list my four favorites.

Spider Power was created by Zachary Zoleikheian. This short film is stupid, and I mean that with the highest possible acclaim. Stars a wannabe superhero who vlogs about his daily life, bragging about his hot sister while struggling to put on his costume. Extremely self-aware about how goofy it is, while having some great comedic timing.

Shelter and Hope, by Ryan Hajmomenian is a touching documentary about the hottest topic in LA politics: homelessness. This movie features a great number of powerful shots, as well as commentary, backed by a classical song of Ryan’s own composition and performance. I thought it was just fine initially, but finding out Ryan had composed the music himself was extremely impressive. Two thumbs up.

Yeah, I Know Logan by Logan Zemlak is a film that won the Lisa Robinson Inspiration Award (an award named for the creator of the Paul Revere Film Festival, awarded to exceptional films) and is in fact quite good. The movie takes a deep look at Logan and his relationship with his friends, his commitment to the school, and what he does for those around him. In a word, moving.

Late a film by Emmett Whitaker and Liam Saven was the winner of the 2020 festival, and was my favorite of the “Greatest Hits” by a long shot. The movie stars James Van Wagenen, who, in his quest to not be late to school, steals a bike, is nearly kidnapped, breaks his legs, steals a pair of crutches, and hobbles his way to school… only to find it’s Sunday. It’s a short film with a lot of heart and great comedy. It’s timeless for a reason.

Finally, the winners were announced in each category.

PSA:

1st Adopt Don’t Shop – Ethan Jackson
2nd Cluck Guard Nightmare Relief – Hutch Larson

Music Videos

1st Shelter and Hope – Ryan Hajmomenian
2nd True Colors – Ethan Jackson
3rd Class of 2024 – Maslowe Larson

Commercials
1st Fart Smart – Ethan Jackson
2nd Mireille’s Magic Growth Spray – Mireille Ganz
3rd place tie between Foot Flex and Tracky Beauty – Matan Altman and Hanna Sadzik, respectively

Animation

1st Labryinth Take Two – Caden Jones
2nd Animafied – Alec Benson
3rd That One Spring Break – Ethan Jackson

Documentary

1st AI Rises – Theodore Mihalev
2nd Abbott Kidd – Ethan Jackson
3rd The Thirteenth Floor – Cole Wood

Live Action

1st The Rise of the Seemingly Harmless Rocks – Lucas Sammarcelli
2nd Spider Power – Zachary Zoleikheiean
3rd The Mission Impossible – GG Bostic, Jayden Niehaus

Lisa Robinson Award Winner

Logan Zemlakon was photographed on the red carpet at the Revere Film Festival. His film captured the Lisa Robinson Award.

Yeah, I know Logan by Logan Zemlak won the top award. Zemlak, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Smith-McGuiness Syndrome. In spite of this, he has become beloved by everyone and continues to excel. “He was diagnosed almost exactly 12 years ago today,” said his mother, Jill Effron. “His doctor said he would never amount to anything. I wish he could see him now.”

About his top honor, Logan said, “I love Disney and Adam Sandler. I want to be a filmmaker and actor in the future – like Hubie Halloween. That’s the kind of movie I want to make.”

While I might personally find his inspiration a little strange, if that’s what pushes him to make what he does, I can’t fault him. When Logan creates the spiritual successor to Elf in 20 years, you best believe I’ll be there.

 

 

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