Charles Frank ’13 took top honors for the second year in a row at the fifth annual Williston Northampton School Film Festival on May 11.
Frank’s film, Breezeless, swept into first place. The short won praise from the panel of judges—all of whom have made their careers in the film making industry. Steve Porter ’97 is the owner of owner of PorterHouse Media; Patrick Burns ’89 is an editor at the Northern Lights Post; and Loren Feinstein ’01 recently directed the documentary Ciclovida: Lifecycle.
The guest judges selected winners for seven different categories. Among the recipients were Cade Zawacki ’15, who won for best special effects, and Alex Kozikowski ’14 for best cinematography.
The goal of the event—presented annually by the Williston Film Club—is to showcase the work of student filmmakers from high schools across New England.
Held in the Williston Theatre, this year’s festival did not disappoint. The two-act event showcased 17 films created by students from Vermont Academy, West Springfield High School, Concord Academy, The Hotchkiss School, and The Governor’s Academy.
Filmmakers had been instructed to keep their editing tight, their sound quality high, and to use original music where possible. What they produced ranged from “Elise’s Dreams,” a silent film about a couple coping with a breakup; to “Valpo Surf Project,” which followed at-risk students in Chile as they embarked on service projects and character development.
Frank’s film followed the failures and triumphs of a boy trying to fly a kite in a town with no wind.
“What I try to do is take a simple idea and make it more exciting,” said Frank. “I thought that Breezeless was a really simple concept of a boy who just wants to get one thing done. When he just gives it up, that’s when he’s inspired.”
In the program, members of the Williston film club described the festival as a “big idea” dreamt up by Rafael Cortina ’09 that has turned into a showcase for many talented artists, actors, and writers.
“To all the students that put their hearts and souls into the process, we say thank you for your efforts,” the program read. “Without you, there would be no festival.”
Best Film: Breezeless Charles Frank, The Williston Northampton School
Most Creative: Elise’s Dream, Nicholas Motyka, West Springfield High School
Best Documentary: The Harry Potter Phenomenon, Eva Araya, The Hotchkiss School
Best Editing: Dreamer, Daisuke Hosokawa, The Governor’s Academy
Best Screenplay: A Zombie Romance, Brian Ryu, The Hotchkiss School
Best Special Effects: Special Effects: The Movie, Cade Zawacki, The Williston Northampton School
Best Cinematography: Mark Spaulding, Alex Kozikowski, The Williston Northampton School
See photos from the event in our Flickr gallery.