2015 Chaminade Film Festival

By Karen Thumm

On Saturday, February 21, the Chaminade Film Festival showcased 26 films by Chaminade’s talented young filmmakers. The annual festival celebrates the best of Chaminade’s filmmakers with awards throughout the evening for the best films in each category and concludes with a special ceremony for outstanding achievements in every part of the filmmaking process, from having an original idea all the way through to editing. The festival is as much a celebration of the creative process as it is a celebration of the finished films, and sharing their works on the big screen with an audience of more than 250 people made for a truly special evening.

The film “Blind Ambitions” by newcomers Ryan Town ’16, Colette Mendoza ’17, Noah Hosaka ’18, and Louis Gerny ’18 swept the awards, earning the award for the best film in its category as well as special awards for the cinematographer, the editor, the actor Thanos Brunson ’16 and the composer of the original score for the film, Alex Mansour ’15. The students created the film for a class assignment in Film I and were delighted to be celebrated for their creative work.

Tom Deily ’16 was specially recognized as the Chaminade Filmmaker, an award for exceptional achievement in more than one area of filmmaking. The Chaminade Filmmaker receives a scholarship to the New York Film Academy high school program on the Universal Studios backlot this summer.

Best Comedy
“22 Chaminade Ave.”
Jake Thornhill ’15, Producer
Aaron Fury ’15, Director

Best Drama
Sohela Madan ’15, writer/director

Best Narrative without Dialogue
“Blind Ambitions”
Colette Mendoza ’17, Producer
Ryan Town ’16, Director

Best Experimental Format
“Test and Recognize”
Griffin Davies ’15

Best Experimental Personal Metaphor
“Straight Line, Perfect Circle”
Chase Fury ’15

Outstanding Achievement Awards:

Original Concept Drama
Tom Deily ’16 for “Faraway”

Original Concept Experimental
Cassie Tran ’16 for “Making Waves”

Screenplay, Comedy
Vincent Bredice ’16 for “Cordially Noble Gentlemen”

Screenplay, Drama
Jake Thornhill ’15 for “Eighteen”

Griffin Freitas for “Ditching”

Aaron Fury ’15 for “Alaska”

Cinematography – special achievement in Black and White
Louis Gerny ’18 for “Blind Ambitions”

Thanos Brunson ’16 for “Blind Ambitions”
Chidi Nwajei ’15 for “Test and Recognize”

Production Design, Experimental
Griffin Davies ’15 for “Test and Recognize”

Production Design, Narrative
Sohela Madan ’15 and Rachel Scalera for “A Wonderful Unknown”

Aiden Kahn ’16 for “Nicaragua”
Cole Hanson ’17 for “Tarzana”
Noah Hosaka ’18 for “Blind Ambitions”

Original Score
Alex Mansour ’15 for “Blind Ambitions”

Aaron Fury ’15 for “Faraway”

Chaminade Filmmaker
Tom Deily ’16

Official Audience Selection
“Blind Ambitions”

Film Class Visits Universal Studios

By Karen Ann Thumm, Film Program Director

The advanced film classes visited Universal Studios on Monday, November 3, for a behind the scenes tour of real movie magic. Students had a private VIP trolley car take them around the backlot, and a tour guide to walk them through sound stages and exterior locations. “It was amazing,” said film student Vinnie Bredice `16, about the tour, “to see the props and other things not everyone gets to see.”

Students had the opportunity to explore a working sound stage for the television show Parenthood, to visit the post production sound facility, to wander through the three story prop warehouse, and to walk a variety of locations on the backlot. “It gave us a hands on experience for something we are learning in a classroom,” said Nick Brosamle `16.

Students also enjoyed the standard elements of the Universal Studios Backlot Tour experience – a ride by the Psycho house, a trip to Amity Island to meet the shark from Jaws, and the King Kong 3D immersive experience. Universal Studios is the oldest production facility in California and its 102 years of continuously producing films made for an experience rich with cinema history.

The nineteen students who attended the field trip are current juniors and seniors enrolled in Film III, IV, and V. You can see some of their work on the Chaminade Film YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChaminadeFilmClub

Chaminade Film Festival

By Karen Thumm

FIlm Festival _IMG_9993The annual Chaminade Film Festival provided Chaminade’s talented young filmmakers with a much deserved audience. Twenty-eight finalists were screened in the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, February 22.

All of the films demonstrated emerging talent and the festival itself was a testament to the students’ diligence and determination, evidence of their shared passion for filmmaking and a sense of true Chaminade family spirit.

Students were celebrated throughout the evening with awards for the best film in each category, and the awards ceremony after the screenings recognized outstanding achievements in every step of filmmaking, from screenwriting to editing. In this way, the screenings were as much a celebration of the finished films as they were of the creative process.

Best Narrative
Griffin Davies ’15 for “Unscripted”

Best Narrative without Dialogue
Sarah Brecher ’17, Jenna Perry ’17, and Ava Swanstrom ’17 for “Found”

Best Documentary
Andy Slavin ’16 for “Geocaching”

Best Experimental
Griffin Davies ’15 for “Who Is”

Best Promotional Short
Rachel Scalera ’15 for “Club Nade: In Color”

Best Chaminade Middle School Film
Steven Weese ’18 for “Avatar 7”

Outstanding Achievement: Original Concept
Dylan Lusetich ’17 for “Descent”

Outstanding Achievement: Screenplay
Austin Porter ’15 and Isabelle Huang ’16 for “One Day More”

Outstanding Achievement:Storytelling
Max Cathcart ’14 and Frank Horne ’14 “The Last Tea Party”

Outstanding Achievement: Cinematography
Breeana Kovelman ’14 for “My Life”
Trevor Berger ’14 for “Fulfillment”
Jake Thornhill ’15 for “The Rat Trap”

Outanding Achievement in Comedy
Nick Brosamle ’16 and Cole Zetz ’16 for “Rat Trap”

Best Actress
Hayley Bricker ’14 in “Capture This” by Breeana Kovelman ’14

Best Actor
Matthew Shane in “The Lockdown” by Jake Thornhill ’15

Outstanding Achievement:  Production Design
Breeana Kovelman ’14 for “Capture This”
Natalie Rowland ’17 for “New Soul”

Outstanding Achievement:  Editing
Cassie Tran ’16 for “Hop On and Help Out”

Outstanding Achievement:  Directing
Liz Holland ’14 for “Blind”

Chaminade Filmmaker
Outstanding Achievement in all areas of Filmmaking
Griffin Davies ’15

Official Audience Selection
Cameron Neimand ’14 for “Don’t Worry About Getting Older”

Chaminade Film Festival

By Karen Thumm

Young filmmakers deserve to have an audience, and the annual Chaminade Film Festival provided just this opportunity. Twenty-two exceptional films were screened in the Tutor Center on Saturday, February 9and many were selected for achievement awards in the ceremony that followed.

Most of these films were produced by film students enrolled in film classes and students from grades 9 through 12 were recognized for their outstanding achievements in everything from original concept and screenwriting to cinematography and editing. All of the films demonstrated a great love for storytelling and a growing understanding of cinematic language.

This festival provided a showcase for the finished works of art. As the film teacher and club moderator, I am blessed to see the creative process that leads to these finished pieces. Our classroom workshop environment fosters a sense of freedom and encourages risk taking, both of which are necessary to create great works of art.

The students who participated in the festival share a tremendous passion for film – for seeing films, talking about films, and making films.  It is common for the film students – both in class and through the club – to offer to help each other with their films, to step in and hold a boom pole for an hour for two, to agree to act even though they don’t really want to be on screen. It’s common because they love filmmaking, and because the joy of making films has fostered this sense of community.

I would like to thank all of my students for sharing this enthusiasm for the creative process and for sharing so much of themselves – with me, with each other, and ultimately with their audience. This festival was a testament to their diligence and talent, and also evidence of their passion and sense of true Chaminade family spirit.

Best Documentary
Desiree Terani and Breeana Kovelman for “Chaminade Fine Arts: The Experience of Expression”

Best Narrative
Aaron Jacob for “Mental Intervention”

Best Experimental
Conner DeMita for “Solitaire”

Best Narrative without Dialogue
Chase Fury for “Because”

Outstanding Achievement: Original Concept
Griffin Davies for “Realities” and Liz Holland for “No Evil”

Outstanding Achievement: Screenplay
Austin Ferreira for “Starboy”

Outstanding Achievement: Writing and Directing
Liz Holland and Austin Ferreira for “Monologue Man”

Outstanding Achievement: Cinematography
Shivan Lala for “Chaminade Music: Discovering a Culture”and James Hribal for “Just Go For It”

Outstanding Cinematography: Best Use of Natural Light
Conner DeMita for “Exposure”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Trevor James Berger for “Conroy” in “Mental Intervention”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Yolanda Holland for “Mrs. Albright” in “Starboy”

Best Actor in a Lead Role
Richy Storrs for “Monologue Man”

Best Actress in a Lead Role
Ariel Lopez for “Five”

Outstanding Achievement:  Production Design
Liz Holland for “All That I Can Think About” and Griffin Davies for “Realities”

Outstanding Achievement:  Original Score
Aaron Jacob for “Mental Intervention”

Outstanding Achievement:  Adapted Score
Austin Ferreira, director for “You’re So Cool”

Outstanding Achievement:  Editing
Amir Zolfaghari for “Paris”

Official Audience Selection
Cole Zetz, Peter Manfredonia, and Vincent Bredice for “Hurt”

Advanced Film classes visited Mole-Richardson in Hollywood

By Karen Thumm

Students currently enrolled in Film II, III, IV, and V had the opportunity to learn from industry icon Larry Parker about how to “paint with light.” The focus of their three hour class and facility tour was on the different types of lights used, rigging of lights, and practical examples of how light makes mood.

The students were guests of Chaminade parent Chuck Valdez, whose son Michael ’14 is a current Film II student. “Everyone at Mole believes that these kids are the future of the Entertainment Industry,” said Valdez after Chaminade’s visit, “we want to do everything we can, to give back to our industry.”

Mole-Richardson Co., which has been in business for 85 years, started when the studio system was just starting to take hold in Hollywood. Mole-Richardson can be counted as one of several ancillary businesses that grew simultaneously with the studios of early cinema including Panavision (cameras), Technicolor (film processing) and Kodak (film).