Sacred Heart students place in the Greenwich Youth Film Festival

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Convent of the Sacred Heart juniors Riley Doyle, Cynthia Thomas and Aggie Ryan pose with their awards at the Greenwich Youth Film Festival. Alana Galloway ’16

The Junior League of Greenwich and Greenwich Library co-sponsored the 2015 Greenwich Youth Film Festival (GYFF) April 26 in the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library.
The GYFF committee picked 32 student films to showcase at the festival, including 27 Convent of the Sacred Heart films created by Broadcast Journalism students.
The competition is open annually to all high school students in Fairfield County and Westchester County. It accepts films in seven genres, encouraging students to express themselves through the art of cinema.
Greenwich Library and the Junior League of Greenwich first hosted the GYFF in 2012. The initial categories for student submission included Creative, Documentary, Public Service Announcement, Music Video and Animation.

Convent of the Sacred Heart juniors Riley Doyle, Cynthia Thomas and Aggie Ryan pose with their awards at the Greenwich Youth Film Festival. Alana Galloway '16
Convent of the Sacred Heart juniors Riley Doyle, Cynthia Thomas and Aggie Ryan pose with their awards at the Greenwich Youth Film Festival.
Alana Galloway ’16

This year, the festival added an additional Experimental category, as well as a Social Action category and Best Freshman Film award. 
“My favorite part of the festival was being able to watch original and unique student films in so many different categories,” junior and Documentary finalist Aggie Ryan said. “As a filmmaker, it was nice to see the final pieces of the students’ works. I know how much effort goes into making films and it is so nice to be recognized for all of the hard work we put in behind the camera.”
The 2015 event began with a welcome speech from Ms. Elizabeth Peyton, Chair of the Greenwich Youth Film Festival and a brief introduction from special guest speaker First Selectman Mr. Peter Tesei.
After the initial speeches, the audience viewed the films. Then, entertainment publicist Mr. Gary Springer of Springer Associates Public Relations Firm presented a speech commending the young filmmakers.
Mr. Springer and his company represent independent and foreign films at festivals across the United States, as well as internationally, according to springerassociates.org.
“I love being a judge because as a judge, you are looking for so many different aspects in films and assessing how they all make you feel,” Mr. Springer said. “Film is creative. It opens your mind, and you get to experience so many voices and perspectives.”
The GYFF awarded various cash prizes to each winner, and plans to screen many of the first place recipients at the Greenwich International Film Festival in Greenwich June 4 through June 7.
Best of the Festival award recipient and Convent of the Sacred Heart senior Gabrielle Giacomo poses with Mr. Gary Springer of Springer Associates Public Relations Firm, Ms. Kristina Leigh Copeland, owner of Brown Saddle Films and founding partner of STATUO and Ms. Elizabeth Peyton, Chair of the Greenwich Youth Film Festival. Alana Galloway '16
Best of the Festival award recipient and Convent of the Sacred Heart senior Gabrielle Giacomo poses with Mr. Gary Springer of Springer Associates Public Relations Firm, Ms. Kristina Leigh Copeland, owner of Brown Saddle Films and founding partner of STATUO and Ms. Elizabeth Peyton, Chair of the Greenwich Youth Film Festival.
Alana Galloway ’16

Sacred Heart students won first place in five of the seven categories. New Foods on the Block, a documentary film about street food in New York City, by freshmen Perry Barth and Laura Holland won Best Freshman film overall. 
The GYFF awarded the first place Documentary prize to Feeding the Addiction, a piece about September 11, 2001 and the implications of smoking by juniors Cynthia Thomas, Aggie Ryan and Riley Doyle. In the Creative Category, seniors Gabrielle Giacomo and Mary Grace Henry won first place with their piece, In Time, and junior Georgina Cahill won first place in the Animation Category with her video Driving Towards a Better Future, a Claymation film promoting car donations. In the Music Video Category, senior Gabrielle Giacomo won first place with her piece, Resplendent. All first place recipients won $500, aside from Best Freshman film winners, who were awarded a $250 cash prize.
Gabrielle’s music video also won the Best of the Festival award. She received an invitation to attend a private screening at the Tribeca Film Center in Manhattan where they will display Resplendent. 
All speakers, judges, and hosts commended students who submitted films on their hard work and dedication.
“My advice to aspiring directors and students is to just keep at it. There are so many films that take a lot of time or don’t always work. You just need to keep at it and be open to new influences,” Mr. Springer said. “Never let failure deter you.”
The following is a list of the winners:
 
Judges Awards
Best of the Festival, judged by owner of of Brown Saddle Films and founding partner of STATUO Mrs. Kristina Leigh Copeland
Resplendent by Gabrielle Giacomo
Best Poster, judged by graphic designer and founder of Bill Gold Advertising, Mr. Bill Gold
Isolation by Matt Wassong
Best Freshman Category, judged by entertainment publicist Mr. Gary Springer of Springer Associates Public Relations Firm
1st place – New Foods on the Block by Perry Barth and Laura Holland
2nd place tie – Stop Bullying Yourself by Kathryn Goodfriend, Jillian Larkin and Ava Bloom and We Exist Too by Christina DeConcini, Caroline Dym and Maya Rajan.
3rd place – Behind the Camera: Lee Morgan by Christina DeConcini, Caroline Dym and Maya Rajan
Social Action Category, judged by producer and film financier of the Office of Technology Management Advisory Mr. Clay Pecorin
1st place – Asleep At the Wheel by Tevan Costoso
2nd place – Stop Bullying Yourself by Kathryn Goodfriend, Jillian Larkin and Ava Bloom
3rd place – In Their Shoes by Claire Uygur
Creative Category, judged by film editor, director, producer and cinematographer Mr. Joseph H. Biancaniello
1st place – In Time by Gabrielle Giacomo and Mary Grace Henry
2nd place – Hands by Claren Hesburgh and Jordan Cohen
3rd place –  The Marvelous McGuffins by Aggie Ryan
Animation Category, judged by Co-Owner of BuzzCo Associates, Incorporation Ms. Candy Kugel
1st place – Driving Towards a Better Future by Georgina Cahill
2nd place –  Man’s Best Friend by Patrick Neafsey
3rd place – A Little Help From My Friends by Cooper Yeager
Experimental Category, judged by Chairman and CEO of White Birth Paper Mr. Peter M. Brant
1st place – Self Portrait by Lauren Chapey
2nd place –  Shredding the Gnar by Ellen Pucel
3rd place – Pulse by Claire Uygur
 Documentary Category, judged by Mr. Todd McCammon and Mrs. Linda Moroney from Low to the Ground Productions
1st place – Feeding the Addiction by Cynthia Thomas, Aggie Ryan and Riley Doyle
2nd place – Behind the Camera: Lee Morgan by Christina DeConcini, Caroline Dym and Maya Rajan.
3rd place – Taking it to the Streets by Tasha Adison, Quinn Butler and Juliette Guice
Music Video Category, judged by executive producer of The Howard Stern Show Mr. Gary Dell’Abate
1st place – Resplendent by Gabrielle Giacomo
2nd place – Ocean View by Jonathon Pasquarella
3rd place – Stranger by Sydney Agona
 
– Alana Galloway, Co-Features Editor