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Montclair Film today announced the full list of participants and films for the 2019 Montclair Film Festival’s Emerging Filmmaker Competition and Junior Jury programs.

The Emerging Filmmaker Competition, co-presented by Gelotti, celebrates the work of filmmakers from our region in two filmmaking sections, Storytellers (Grades 6-8) and Visionaries (Grades 9-12). These films represent a wide range of styles and voices that showcase the diverse talents of young people who are using cinema to tell their stories. Categories include narrative, comedy, documentary, experimental and social impact films. Awards will be given in each of these categories. The screening of the winning films takes place on Saturday, May 11 at The Wellmont at 11:00 am and tickets are on sale to the public, with all ages are welcome to celebrate these outstanding films. At the screening, Gelotti is sponsoring a new award for the Sweetest Film, and will provide EFC attendees the opportunity visit the Gelotti store for one free junior size scoop of ice cream or Italian Ice.

This year’s judges are Evan Baily, Margaret Bodde, Evan Cutler, Amy Friedman, Mark Fitzmartin, JoAnn McCullough, and Ellin Baumel. The full list of participating films and filmmakers is attached to this release.

The 2019 Junior Jury program announced participating student jurors. Jurors, selected from a pool of applicants in grades 10-12, will meet industry professionals and will learn how to analyze and adjudicate films. After deliberating and selecting the best film in its category, the jurors will present the Junior Jury Award as part of the Montclair Film Festival’s Award Ceremony on Saturday, May 11.

This year’s jurors are Jack Abramson (Columbia High School), Charlie Baker (Columbia High School), Lola Coleman (Montclair Kimberly Academy), Makayla Clarke (Immaculate Cinception High School) Sophie Collins (Glen Ridge High School), Robert DiGenova (Middletown High School South), Jack DiLorenzo (Montclair Kimberley Academy), Lucas Fell (Montclair High School), Stella Guzik (Montclair High School), George Osterberg (Montclair High School), Chandler Otterbein (Glen Ridge High School), Ryan Rivera (West Orange High School).

“We’re so excited to honor these wonderful emerging filmmakers at our Red Carpet Ceremony, and we invite everyone to join the celebration as we screen the winning films at the Wellmont Theater on Saturday, May 11th,” said Montclair Film Education Director Sue

Hollenberg. “We are also looking forward to welcoming our 2019 Junior Jury, who will have the opportunity to screen and analyze a series of films throughout the festival, and award the Junior Jury Award to the film they select.”

In addition, Montclair Film, in partnership with The Montclair Cooperative School, Partners for Health, and The Montclair Bounce Festival, have launched a Compassion Campaign as part of their annual Spotlight program. Local middle and high school students will attend specially selected films that reflect kindness, empathy and tolerance, followed by a conversation with filmmakers and guest speakers.

“Throughout the month of May, students and community members are encouraged to "Take the Kindness Challenge!" by posting acts of kindness performed or experienced to #MFKindnessChallenge. Kindness posts will be incorporated into a public art installation at the Montclair Film Festival,” said Hollenberg. “Together, we can show the world that even small acts of kindness can make a big difference!”

2019 Emerging Filmmaker Competition

Storytellers: Grades 6 – 8

Grand Prize - Social Impact


Elias Lewin

Glenfield Middle School

Grand Prize - Narrative

Baking for Zombies

Lucy Osterberg

Renaissance at Rand Middle School

Grand Prize - Documentary

South End Going South

Jacob Frye

Glenfield Middle School

Visionaries: Grades 9 – 12

Grand Prize – Comedy

Gelotti Sweetest Film Award


Keeley Giblin, Mitchell Hahn, Julia Malek, Steph Tregillies

Middletown High School South

Special Jury Prize - Comedy (tie)

The Gum Run

Isaac Center, Sam Cohen, Samuel Koranteng, Carter Núñez

Columbia High School

Special Jury Prize - Comedy (tie)


Kylee Strasser

Morristown High School

Grand Prize – Documentary

The Gender Bias

Tiara Dixon

Passaic County Technical Institute

Grand Prize – Experimental and VFX

The Last

Evan Covington

Bloomfield High School

Special Jury Prize - Experimental (Tie)

Rose of Jericho

Keeley Giblin, Toria Pater, Courtney Voehl

Middletown High School South

Special Jury Prize - Experimental (Tie)


Morgan Barth, Sophie Larish, Kelsey O’Keefe, Ashlyn Estevez, Kim Winters, Toria Pater

Middletown High School South

Special Jury Prize - Cinematography


Aidan Champeau, Jake Weinberg, Petra Fox, Jake Diamond, and Jacob Manthey

Montclair High School

Grand Prize - Narrative

Cougar Way

Cameron Lipp

Columbia High School

Grand Prize - Social Impact & Animation


Alex DeRosa

Millburn High School

Special Jury Prize - Social Impact (tie)


Kerry Harper

Henry Hudson Regional

Special Jury Prize - Social Impact (tie)

You Reap What You Sow

Jacob Updyke

Millburn High School

Special Jury Prize - Animation


Mary Arevalo

Columbia High School


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