17th Annual Film & Video Festival

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On Tuesday, June 6, at 7 p.m., the 17th Annual Suffield Film and Video Festival was held in front of an appreciative crowd in the Suffield High School Auditorium. The movies shown at this event, which is one of the longest-running teen video festivals in the country, reflected the wide variety of material produced at the high school, including narrative shorts, documentaries, public service announcements, (PSAs), and animation. Viewers also enjoyed one longer movie featuring SHS alumni from last year, The Wake Up Call by Michelle Pine, starring Phil Semyanko, Ryan Carzello, Bradley Grimard, and Jaden Boland. This group had also completed another major project last year, a public service piece produced for the Agriscience program at SHS which is used for recruitment and informational uses. Both projects were such major undertakings that they were not completed in time to be shown at last year’s festival.

This year’s lineup featured many short works that had been seen briefly as PSAs, opening montages, and commercials for the Morning Update show at the high school. In fact, a number of the award winners at the festival were movies that had been created for these uses, including Lunch in the Library by Corey Trase, Evan Cashman, and Simon Ziolkowski, which won Outstanding PSA or Promo, the Honorable Mention public service announcement winner One Split Second by Nicole Stryjek and Erica Devin, and Emily Fabrizi, who won Outstanding Animation for her holiday pieces for Halloween and Christmas.

Jason Werenski won Outstanding Motion Picture for his documentary Mr. Sullivan: A Celebration, which celebrated the exceptional career of the retiring SHS Guidance Department Coordinator and Counselor Ned Sullivan. Jason also won Outstanding Editor for his work on several projects. Evan Cashman won Outstanding Director for his work on The Cows, the library PSA, and A Second Chance. Evan also won Outstanding Screenplay for The Cows, which featured a humorous take on the “cows on the loose” police blotter story in Suffield from earlier in the year. Matteo Casinghino won Outstanding Cinematography for his work on the main Morning Update montage sequence, the pep rally montages, and Shooting Stars, a music video. A Cinematography Honorable Mention award was given to Kayla Freeman for her fine work on Life in a Cell.

The Outstanding Actress award was given to Sabrina Olechny who also directed Life in a Cell, the PSAs Before It’s Too Late and Little Reminders, and a self-portrait set in nature. Outstanding Actor was won by Samir Zulfiquar for his roles in Around the Corner and How to Walk in the Hallway. An award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution was given to Danielle Walters for A Theatrical Portrait and a commercial for the musical production of Cinderella. Finally, the award for Outstanding Comedy was won by Corey Trase, the director and star of the spirited The Life of Corey.

Congratulations to all of our award winners and to all of the students who contributed work to the festival. Viewers were very effusive in their praise of the work shown that night, and the positive responses and support were appreciated by the filmmakers.

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