Chaminade Film Festival 2019

By Karen Ann Thumm, Film Program Director

Our annual Chaminade Film Festival celebrated some of the best work of Chaminade’s talented filmmakers on Saturday, February 23. Twenty-nine finalists were selected to be showcased on the big screen in The Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts. Most of these films were produced by film students while enrolled in film classes. Each year, nearly a thousand short film projects are created by students in all seven levels of film here at Chaminade. The festival is only a sampling of the best work the students have created during the previous twelve months, and all of them have been posted to the Chaminade Film YouTube Channel.

These films are so beautiful, personal, and artistic that it was undoubtedly challenging for our panel of expert judges to make their decisions about the best film in each category. The awards this year were decided by Producer Chris Cheramie, Actress/Singer/Dancer Maria Louisa Figura, Cinematographer Artur Gubin, and Marketing Executive at Panavision Camera Systems Sean Jenkins. The awards are an important part of the festival and they would not have been possible without the participation of these four people, some of whom are members of our own Chaminade family.

The evening concluded with an award ceremony celebrating the best film in a variety of categories and also recognizing outstanding achievements in filmmaking. One very special award, Chaminade Filmmaker, is awarded each year to a Junior who excels in many ways as a filmmaker and artist. The recipient receives a one-week scholarship to the New York Film Academy summer program and will have the opportunity to film on the Universal backlot this summer. This year’s Chaminade Filmmaker was presented to Luca Beninati, who is an exceptionally talented writer and cinematographer. Luca is currently a student in Film V, and he is also the president of Chaminade Studios, the extracurricular club for filmmakers and photographers.

AWARDS FOR THE 2019 CHAMINADE FILM FESTIVAL

BEST DRAMA WITHOUT DIALOGUE
Next of Kin created by Co-Writer/Director Aidan Hall
and Co-Writer Editor Harry Bebejian

BEST VISUAL POEM
Spags created by Bella Spagnoli

BEST COMEDY
Quest created by Writer/Director Cameron Han,
Producer/Cinematographer Matthew Stewart, and Editor Sarah Tang

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Ingenuity created by Lexie Pang

BEST DRAMA
Atlas created by Director Matthew Stewart, Writer/Editor Carter Skyers
Cinematographer Alexander Kagan and Producer Dylan Turbow

Outstanding Achievement: Original Concept
Pushing Up Daisies Created by Director/Co-Editor Montse Irwin-Azpiazu and Cinematographer/Co-Editor Luca Beninati

Outstanding Achievement Production Design
Underwater by Writer/Director Montse Irwin-Azpiazu
and Cinematographer Ali Watson

Outstanding Achievement Screenwriting
David Torres for Challenge Accepted
(from a story by the 2018 NFFTY team: David Torres, Aidan Hall,
Ali Watson, Matthew Stewart, and Carter Skyers)

Outstanding Achievement Cinematography
Anna O’Rourke for Bare
created with Jacob Cassar and Bella Katab

Outstanding Achievement Cinematography
Ali Watson for Underwater
created with Montse Irwin-Azpiazu

Outstanding Achievement: Editing
Pauline Manlucu for My Life

Outstanding Achievement: Editing
Carter Skyers for Challenge Accepted

Official Audience Selection
Quest created by Writer/Director Cameron Han,
Producer/Cinematographer Matthew Stewart, and Editor Sarah Tang

Jordan Axani, Mental Wellness and Leadership Expert, comes to Chaminade

 

jordan_axani-may2015-2On April 8, 2019, The Chaminade Wellness Program welcomes Jordan Axani, mental wellness, and leadership expert, to speak to parents, students, and teachers. Jordan Axani has a long track-record of bold acts that move and inspire people, and he uses that entrepreneurial and creative spark to attack the biggest problems facing our mental wellness. Audiences will walk away knowing how to have simple, relatable, and actionable conversations on mental wellness and nurture relationships that encourage connection, trust, and teamwork.

Jordan Axani is one of several speakers the Chaminade Wellness Program plans to host this year. In September, motivational speaker Joe Beckman visited the Chatsworth campus. Through humor, and music Beckman shared personal anecdotes that stressed the importance of human connection and encouraged students to become “Difference Makers.” Beckman returns Monday, March 4, to speak to middle school parents on “Positivity Matters.”

These events are made possible by fundraising efforts of the Chaminade Gala Benefit and Auction. During the Fund-A-Need portion of the 2018 Gala, Chaminade parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends were asked to invest in the newly created Wellness Program. Together they raised more than $111,000 to jump-start the program and give Chaminade the tools needed to expand the school’s vision to develop resilient young men and women who are adaptable self-advocates and can successfully balance school life.

Chaminade’s Wellness program will address topics such as alcohol and substance abuse prevention, sexual abuse and rape prevention, and anxiety and depression, as well as offer faculty additional in-service and professional development opportunities. As stated in Chaminade’s strategic plan, it is a priority of the school to help students achieve school/life balance, manage stress and prepare students for success. Integrating the wellness program into the curriculum through religion and health class, guest speakers and the creation of on-campus activities such as of “Mind/Body/Spirit” events, Wellness Wednesdays and Mental Health Awareness week, students, teachers and even parents will have the knowledge and resources needed to physically, emotionally and socially balance school life.

Four Eagle Wrestlers Head to State Championship

After three weeks of qualifying tournaments from Mission League to CIF Divisional’s to CIF Master’s Regional’s, four Eagle wrestlers punched their tickets to the California State Championships February 21-23. States is one of the most prestigious athletic events in California. Out of more than 900 schools and 27,000 wrestlers in the state, only 2% of wrestlers ever reach this level of competition.

It has been a record-setting year for the Chaminade’s wrestling team. Under the direction of coach Bill Wilson and assistant coach Vlad Kochiev, Chaminade qualified 12 wrestlers out of 14 weight classes for CIF tournaments in a single season. The team also qualified for the CIF Dual Championships and is ranked 21st in the state.

Through the sweat, blood, tears, and grueling tournaments here are the four remaining eagles and their weight class achievements and rankings:

Patrick Rowland ’19 has shown tremendous growth in the last four years. Introduced to wrestling at Chaminade’s middle school, Patrick (138-pounds) got serious when he entered 9th grade. This season, he is Mission League Champion, 3rd at CIF, placed 9th at CIF Masters and is currently ranked 12th in the state. Rowland will go on to wrestle for Duke University.

Erich Osteen ’19 is no stranger to the tournament circuit. Erich (220-pounds) has been wrestling since the age of six, and it’s his third time at States. He is Mission League Champion, CIF Champion, and placed 2nd at CIF Masters. Erich is currently ranked 3rd in the state and is committed to play football for UCLA next season.

Zeth Romney ’22 is at the beginning of his high school wrestling career and is showing that he is a contender with which to be reckoned. Zeth (106- pounds) is Mission League Champion, CIF Champion, and placed 3rd at CIF Masters. He is currently ranked 8th in the state.

Katja Osteen ’21 is the only girl on the Chaminade wrestling team. Like her brother, she has been wrestling from a very young age she began at only four-years-old. In 2018, Katia (160-pound) became the school’s first State Champion in wrestling. This year she is CIF Champion and Masters Champion. She is currently ranked 1st in the state.

For up to the minute State Championship coverage, follow the Chaminade Wrestling team on twitter @nadewrestling.

Alumni share their Eagle love stories

In honor of Valentine’s Day, alumni couples share their Eagle love stories:

Katherine Schryver-Stahly ’92 and Paul Stahly ’93

Katherine and Paul met in biology class in 1991. They attended Homecoming and Prom together and stayed together through college, even though they attended schools in different cities. The two married in April 2003 and have been together for 27 years. This year they are celebrating 16 years of marriage and two children, aged 5 and 7.

Christine and Wesley Lovold ’98

Wesley first saw Christine just before sitting down at Mass during freshman year. Christine and a friend were seated in the second to last row and Wesley sat behind her so he would get to meet her when Fr. Allen invited the congregation to extend the sign of peace. During sophomore year the two became friends, taking several classes together but lost touch when Christine left Chaminade. A year later, Wesley returned from a late shift one Friday night to find a note from his mom that a girl named Chrissy had called and left her number. He called the next day and the two made plans for their first date. After a couple of dates, Wesley asked her to homecoming with a bouquet of sunflowers, and shortly afterward, the two were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. Several years later, Wesley surprised Christine with a trip to New York. He proposed on their fifth anniversary during a horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park. One year later they became husband and wife. Christine and Wesley have been together for 22 years and have four children, three daughters and one son.

Kate and Scott Beskid ’00

Kate and Scott spent three years together in high school, but truly never spoke more than a few words to one another. The two reconnected their senior year of college through a mutual friend, Grant Zitkvoich ’00. Their shared Chaminade experience was the foundation of their friendship and their love blossomed as they spent more and more time together. Kate began her vocation as a Chaminade educator and Scott started his career as a chef. They supported one another in their new adventures and each day their love grew. Kate and Scott married on September 22, 2012 at St. John Eudes Parish in Chatsworth. The entire wedding was Chaminade – the bridal party, guests, choir, and even the middle school cheerleaders attended. They have enjoyed supporting Chaminade throughout the years: attending their reunion together, homecoming football games, and various alumni events. The Beskids recently welcomed their first child, Elizabeth Francis on March 1, 2018 – they cannot wait to send Elizabeth to Chaminade as a member of the Class of 2038!

Hannah Balonick ’07 and Antoine Tadros ’07

Hannah and Antoine became engaged in December 2018 although they never met during high school– Antoine enrolled in Chaminade after Hannah left. They met each other years later and fell in love. A classmate and friend Ron Tan ’07 designed Hannah’s engagement ring.

Lyndsay and Jeff Rosen ’07

Lyndsay and Jeff met at a Bar Mitzvah for Max Piner ’07 before Jeff attended Chaminade. Lyndsay remembered seeing him on a campus visit a few months after the party and thinking he was super cute. On the first day of 8th grade at Chaminade Jeff approached Lyndsay, to say “hi” and they have been inseparable ever since. Lyndsay recalls that they constantly passed notes in class and chatted online. She never expected to meet her future husband at 12 years old. Lyndsay and Jeff have been married for just over two years and have a beautiful 7 month old daughter named Greer. 

If you’d like to share your Eagle Love Story, contact the Alumni Office at alumni@chaminade.org or (818) 444-1750.

Catholic Schools Week Comes to an End; Three Employees are Honored

Middle school students making blankets at SHINE Faith Sharing Lunch. Photo by Instagram @campusminnadems

Another successful Catholic Schools/Marianist Heritage Week has concluded at Chaminade College Preparatory. Students on both campuses enjoyed fun-filled, mission-driven activities. Middle schoolers enjoyed Dr. Seuss-themed special dress days and celebrated the week with an NJHS Bake Sale, Mix It Up Lunch, Faith Sharing, house picnic, and energetic Faith Rally.

High school students on a service trip with Habitat for Humanity. Photo by Instagram @nadeactivities

High school students commemorated the week with Random Acts of Kindness Lunch, an Instagram contest, the annual Fr. Chaminade Contest, a service trip with Habitat for Humanity, and an exciting Formation in Faith Rally.

Marianist Educators honored three fellow employees with the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade Award: Kelly Benning and Paul Sauter from West Hills, and Oscar Perez from Chatsworth. Each recipient was nominated by his or her peers for demonstrating one or more of the Characteristics of Marianist Education: integral, quality education; family spirit; adaptation and change; formation in faith; and service, justice, and peace.

Pictured left to right: Luis Guerra, Kelly Benning, Paul Sauter, and Bro. Adam Becerra, fsp. Photo by Pam Liceralde

Kelly Benning is the librarian at the West Hills campus. She makes the library an innovative learning space for discernment, reflection, and academic research. Under her leadership, the library is a gathering place where students are challenged to consider how they can contribute to society with their gifts and talents. 

Paul Sauter, biology teacher and science department chair on the West Hills campus, demonstrates compassion, humor, and love in all he does. Paul serves through the Kairos retreat every year and has coached in the past. He is always willing to give of himself to serve his students.

Pictured left to right: Nikki Russ, Oscar Perez, and Fr. Josephraj Rymond, S.M. Photo by Tommy Smeltzer

Oscar Perez is on the facilities staff at the Chatsworth campus. With a positive attitude, Oscar imparts warmth, understanding, and generosity in all he does, from setting up for Masses and rallies, to finding solutions to complicated campus problems. His work is precise, accurate, and done with a smile. Dedicated to helping students, faculty, and staff, Oscar has a hand in everything on the Chatsworth campus.