Story and Photos by: CHAZ PLAGER
Paul Revere Middle School held its 9th Annual Film Festival on May 12. The event began at 6:30 pm, with a “red carpet” showing off the directors and actors of the films dressed in their finest, such as Theodore Michalev, director of “YouTube as A Career.”
Twenty-six films were selected to be shown this year, each produced and written by Paul Revere students.
Films were required to be five minutes or less, and were submitted in one of six categories: Commercial, Documentary, Public Service Announcement (PSA), Music Video, Animation and Live Action.
This year’s festival was organized by Susan Fitzer, Debbie Sachs, Julie Knapp, Jon Hyman and Jordan Moore, with help from Revere’s Justin Koretz and Lori Vogel.
“I think every film this year is strong, no matter the category. We have so many kinds of animation being shown off this year, from stop motion to drawn to digital,” said Susan Fitzer, who’s been a parent film festival volunteer for the last seven years. “My child left Revere four years ago, but I still volunteer because it’s one of the most fantastic film festivals out there, even now.”
The films began showing at 7 p.m. While every film shown this year was fantastic, describing each and every one would take too long.
Instead, here are three films I personally found stood out: Alarmed Clock, written and directed by Lincoln Bruno. An incredible display of CGI (computer-generated imagery) and camerawork for someone still in middle school. Also, really funny! 5 stars.
The Case by Tabby Kopple. Hilarious. Proof you don’t need a budget to make what is in my opinion the funniest thing at the show.
Curiosity Killed the Cat by Pablo Ortega. Insane camerawork, color palette, and shot direction.
All are possible future Oscar winners in the making – and they’re still in middle school.
After all the films were shown, Susan Fitzer and Jonathan Hyman came to the stage to announce the winners in each category.
3rd: Alpha Spray by Taryn Leishman and Amy Portillo
2nd: Roomba by Sarah Schmidt and Zoey Morris
1st: No Way Neighbor by Ethan Jackson
3rd: YouTube as a Career by Theo Mihalek
2nd: Fight for Human Rights by Sarah Hajmomenian
1st: Invasion of the Virus by Joshua Cole Wood
2nd: Teachers by Ethan Jackson
1st: Trash by Emma Bolch
3rd: Bear Feat by Joshua Cole Wood
2nd: Coffee by Chloe Richmond
1st: Sustainable Oceans by Isabelle Duquesnay
Best Music Video:
3rd: Top Gun Anthem by Isabella and Abigail James
2nd: Someday We’ll All Be Free by Ethan Jackson
1st: A tie between Global Stress by Ryan Hajmomenian and Government Rap by Zachary Pawatan and Sebastian Rogers
Best Live Action:
3rd: Curiosity Killed the Cat by Pablo Ortega
2nd: The Case by Tabby Kopple
1st: Alarmed Clock by Lincoln Bruno
Coincidentally, my three favorite films this year were the top three live action movies. Regardless of what my favorites were, however, I think every entrant who was willing to put aside the fear of possible embarrassment and work to get their film up on the screen deserves recognition.
And by every entrant, I mean every entrant. Yes, even the one who submitted an AMV (anime music video) of their favorite anime couple set to Imagine Dragons deserves to be recognized because often it isn’t talent or production quality that determines one’s success; it is the ability to keep creating and publishing that makes one successful. And as long as these filmmakers keep creating, I’m sure you may recognize at least one of these winners on the silver screen one day.
PANEL OF JUDGES:
The 2023 judges for the film festival is a Who’s Who of people working in the business starting with Julia Miranda, whose credits include Lab Rats (Disney), Alexa and Katie (Netflix) and Brews Brothers (Netflix). In animation, her credits include The Mighty B! (Nickelodeon), Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (Disney), Harvey Girls Forever! (Netflix) and Trolls: The Beat Goes On! (Netflix.)
Gabe Sachs is writer/producer who has worked on television projects including Freaks & Geeks, Just Shoot Me, Undeclared, Life as We know it, 90210 and The Night Shift. He co-wrote the feature films Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. His creative partner is writer/director Jeff Judah with whom he co-owns Sachs/Judah Productions.
Francisca Kachler is a Chilean born, Los Angeles based documentary film and television editor. Her last Film project Freedia Got a Gun premiered at AFI Docs festival in 2020 and was awarded the freedom award at the 2020 Outfest film festival. Previous projects include the Emmy nominated Stonewall Outloud and Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Tom Costain is an editor that has worked primarily on feature films for Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison. Some of the movies he’s edited are Murder Mystery (1 and 2), Hustle, Hubie Halloween, Grown Ups (1 and 2), The Week Of and Just Go With It.
Fred Coury is best known for being the drummer for the multi-platinum band CINDERELLA for 30 years. He is an award-winning composer for both film and television. In addition, Fred composes music for sporting events and arenas, including all the music for the Los Angeles Kings.
Aspen Ramsdell is the Casting Coordinator at Skydance Animation, helping find the voices to bring the animated characters to life.
Erica Rosbe was most recently a Co-Executive Producer for The Boys spin-off at Amazon, Gen V. She also recently worked on Dune: The Sisterhood (HBO Max), Homecoming (Amazon) and You’re the Worst (FX).
Frank Wolf has been working with score and song recording and mixing for film, television, soundtrack CDs and CDs with many great artists and producers for more than 40 years. He has produced several soundtrack albums such as Cars, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story (1 & 2) and Meet the Parents. He was nominated for a Grammy for his collaboration on Little Shop of Horrors-Cast and The Black-Eyed Peas song: Where Is the Love. He also won a Grammy for Terence Blanchard’s: A Tale of God’s Will.