Sixth annual film festival leaves audience starstruck

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Broadcast Journalism seniors Natalie Ponce, Grace Kennedy, Gabby Lopez, Katie Hill, Caroline Burch, Maddie Church, Alana Normile, Jorden Cohen, Emily Sabia, Grace McKenney, Claren Hesburgh, Jen Esposito, Gabrielle Giacomo, Mary Grace Henry, and Jessica Johnson take a final bow at the end of the Film Festival. Courtesy of Grace Kennedy ’15

Broadcast Journalism seniors Natalie Ponce, Grace Kennedy, Gabby Lopez, Katie Hill, Caroline Burch, Maddie Church, Alana Normile, Jorden Cohen, Emily Sabia, Grace McKenney, Claren Hesburgh, Jen Esposito, Gabrielle Giacomo, Mary Grace Henry, and Jessica Johnson take a final bow at the end of the Film Festival.  Courtesy of Grace Kennedy '15
Broadcast Journalism seniors Natalie Ponce, Grace Kennedy, Gabby Lopez, Katie Hill, Caroline Burch, Maddie Church, Alana Normile, Jorden Cohen, Emily Sabia, Grace McKenney and Claren Hesburgh, Jen Esposito, Gabrielle Giacomo, Mary Grace Henry, and Jessica Johnson take a final bow at the end of the Film Festival.
Courtesy of Grace Kennedy ’15

With 25 golden trophies, copious glittering decorations, and one silver screen, the sixth annual Convent of the Sacred Heart film festival was a night full of stars.
The evening began with a surprise video message from young actor Ansel Elgort. Famous for his roles in movies such as Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars,  Elgort encouraged the student filmmakers to continue pursuing their passions, and expressed gratitude that his father, Arthur Elgort, was the subject of one of the documentaries.
Next, a video, created by Co-Film Festival Directors, seniors Mary Grace Henry and Gaby Lopez, with help from Film Festival Executive Producer, senior Alana Normile, hijacked the event in order to introduce co-hosts, seniors Maddie Church and Katie Hill, as well as the 51 other students who participate in the broadcast classes.
After the elaborate opening, the screening portion of the night began with the Social Justice/Public Service Announcement (PSA) category. This section featured 12 short pieces, from anti-bullying pieces to a campaign to keep the Great Lakes clean, which were judged by NBC Connecticut news reporter and Sacred Heart alumna Ms. Kate Rayner.
The Documentary category also featured a diverse range of topics, including memoirs from a Holocaust survivor, details about photographer Arthur Elgort, and a look at New York City’s street foods. Ms. Megan Smith-Harris, president and co-owner of Pyewackitt Productions, an independent production company with a commitment to creating high-quality television and film programs with a unique perspective, judged these films based on the quality of their editing, audio, story, and composition of shots.
The screening concluded with the Creative category, which included both live action and animated films, with genres that ranged from horror to comedy to experimental.  The winners were selected by Mrs. Carina Crain, the inspiration behind Greenwich International Film Festival, and an integral member of this event’s team.
Out of the 47 films entered, 32 were screened at the festival and 11 received awards. Other highlights of the night included a text-to-vote system for choosing the Audience Choice Awards, a senior tribute video, and a photo booth, in addition to a raffle that was a new feature at the event.
Throughout the week leading up to the event, the Broadcast Journalism class also presented the Australia awards, selected by judges from Sacred Heart’s sister school in Melbourne, Australia, and the Actor Award, honoring an actress whose skills significantly contributed to the films she was in.
“After all the hard work everyone in broadcast has done, I am glad that the film festival was a success,” Gaby said.  “It was night filled with many emotions for the seniors and I am happy that our last film festival was one to remember.”
 
The following is a list of the winners:
 
Judges’ Choice Awards
Social Justice/Public Service Announcements
1st place – We Exist Too by Christina DeConcini, Caroline Dym, and Maya Rajan
2nd place – I Can by Devika Arjoon
Documentary
1st place – Inside P.O.T.S by Ellen Pucel
2nd place – Behind the Camera: Lee Morgan by Christina DeConcini, Caroline Dym, and Maya Rajan
Creative
1st place — The Marvelous McGuffins by Aggie Ryan
2nd place — Trick or Treat by Georgina Cahill
 
Audience Choice Awards
Social Justice/Public Service Announcements
Great Lakes by Ellen Pucel
Documentary
 The Escape by Caroline Burch and Natalie Ponce
Creative
Feeding the Addiction by Riley Doyle, Aggie Ryan, and Cynthia Thomas
 
Australia Awards
Social Justice/Public Service Announcements 
Stop Bullying Yourself by Ava Bloom, Kathryn Goodfriend, and Jillian Larkin
Documentary
The Escape by Caroline Burch and Natalie Ponce
 
Actor Award
Miranda Falk
 
– Gabrielle Giacomo, Video Content Editor