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Digital Film Program shines at recent festival

Student filmmakers win awards across several categories

Grace Harmon, Staff Reporting
Originally published May 26, 2015

At this year’s Northwest High School Film Festival, the Digital Film Program once again showed its skill, bringing home 15 awards and honors across several categories.

The festival, one of the biggest and oldest high school film festivals in the Puget Sound area, awards student films, and identifies skilled young filmmakers for scholarships.

The night brought huge rewards for juniors Jaya Flanary, Leo Pfeifer and Meagen Tajalle, and seniors Coleman Andersen, Duncan Boszko, Rachel Cole and Duncan Gowdy, as all seven students brought home a $5,000 scholarship award from event sponsors Cornish College of the Arts and the Seattle Film Institute.

“I thought it went really well,” Tajalle said. “Ballard cleans up really well almost every year. The only thing that’s tough is knowing Ballard can’t win some of the awards it deserves, just because they can’t all go to one school.”

Many of the winners have had several successes already in their filmmaking careers, like the win of National Film Festival For Talented Youth’s 48 Hour Film Off by juniors Lyric Gonzalez, Bergen Johnson, Leo Pfeifer and Meagan Tajalle and senior Stephanie Shao in April.

“[The Northwest High School Film Festival] was much more professional than last year’s,” Cole said. “It’s nice that we do so well, but at the same time it can be frustrating to be at exclusively high school film awards, since a lot of the programs we’re competing with aren’t that developed.”

In addition to the scholarship awards given, students won Awards in Excellence in seven categories, and Honorable Mentions in five categories.

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Digital Film Program shines at recent festival