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Behind the Red Carpet of the Millburn Film Festival

Joy Luo and Xanthe Miller

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On Friday April 21, the Millburn Film Festival is having its red carpet event. The 6th Annual Millburn Film Fest consists of student-made films that were previously submitted in February. The winning movies are being shown at this event, which is held annually. The winning films of this year, 2017, are:

  • Eclipse by David Chun & Jonny Berkowitz ;
  • Flash & Soulfege – The A Capella Experience by Kyle Farscht
  • Heba’s Story by Ariel Riseman
  • Lyric by Alex DeRosa  
  • Poppy by Aaron Surloff  
  • Sincerely, A Feminist by Julia Newman
  • The Fountain Case by Brendan Weissman & Ben Goodman
  • Walk – The Story of the Iron Grannies by Rachel Solomon. 

I was able to reach out and interview Mrs. Lynn Farscht, one of the chairpersons of the Millburn Film Fest.

 

Was there a specific person who inspired you to start the Millburn Film Fest group?

It was the students; what the students created that inspired me to have a showcase. The students make such great things and I wanted to be able to showcase what the students made. And then as a side event, we raise some money for the Education Foundation, so we can give more money and equipment back to the school. So it kinda works hand-in-hand. Really, Alyssa Russo and myself, we run the Film Fest, but the money goes for the Ed Foundation, which then gives it back to all the schools.

 

What do you enjoy most about this contest?

Well, the day all the films are due, I feel like it’s Christmas morning for me, because I love, love watching all the films that first day. I prescreen to make sure everything runs properly and it’s just such a treat because there’s just so much creativity.

What part of this contest do you feel needs improvement?

I wish we had more time in the evening to screen more films, to show a few more, but it would just be too long. That’s, I guess, the downside because you can’t show them all and the evening can’t go on until midnight.

What skills do you believe contestants can learn through making and submitting their films?

“There are so many. If they work with a large crew, they have to learn how to direct and handle people and to manage time. They get a creative outlet. Everything is digital and media these days so they really can have a portfolio for college and to get work with learning digital production.”

What advice do you have to future contestants hoping to enter the Film Fest?

Don’t be afraid. Be courageous. Just go for it and enter. Enter whatever. We are always surprised by the uniqueness of different individuals. So just go for it.

There are some people who may not be considering attending this year’s Film Fest. What would you say to try to convince these people to attend?

It’s the best night out and the best value in town. You can’t even go to the regular movies for the amount of money we charge. You go in, you get paparazzi treatment, it’s the red carpet, you come home with giveaways, and it’s better than what Hollywood’s putting out now, so you might as well spend your Friday night with us. You’ll have a great time. And then we do, it’s during school, but we do a recap for parents on Wednesday April 26th at 11 AM.

 

Xanthe Miller was able to reach out and interview the creator of one of the winning film’s that is being shown on Friday. Rachel Solomon, who is in eighth grade created, Walk – The Story of the Iron Grannies.

What inspired you to make your film?

It was all about my grandmother; she walked all across the country. My mom was like, ‘You should make a movie out of that…’ It was influenced by others too, but I wanted experience in filmmaking . . . it’s a documentary based on my grandmother’s walk across the country for her 70th birthday with her friends. They called themselves the Iron Grannies.”

Were there any difficulties during filming?

When I was making this film I was really nervous because I didn’t have any fancy technology to use, I only had iMovie on my computer. I was also working with footage from grandmother’s phone, which was grainy. I still got in despite technological struggles and inexperience.

What would you change about your film if you could?

I said the word ‘albene’ wrong, and it’s ‘albine’, but I don’t think anyone will catch that.
We would like to thank both Ms. Farscht and Rachel Solomon for their time. The Film Festival is a really interesting and fun event; we encourage students to make and enter films and we also encourage you to get tickets to see the Millburn Film Fest Red Carpet Event! It is Friday April 21st at 7:30 p.m at Millburn High School Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased here or at the high school.

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