Written by Lorraine Rinaldi '19
It was very exciting to be invited to the All-American High School Film Festival since it is one of the largest youth festivals in the world and hosts many beneficial events and fun activities throughout the weekend. My documentary, The Godmother of Comedy
, about a standup comedy mentor named Gladys Simon was an official selection for the film festival.
The Festival accepted students from all over the United States as well as from many countries such as Poland, China and Japan. The film festival weekend began with two opening night parties: a dance party with live music and an IMAX screening with a guest speaker.
I chose to attend the dance party where I met many other young filmmakers. I became friends with a group of high schoolers from Texas, a high school boy from Colorado, a college girl from South Carolina, and many more people. It was such a unique experience to be able to meet students with whom I had so much in common yet would never have met if it were not for the film festival.
On Saturday, there was a college fair where we had the opportunity to meet with admissions representatives from many prestigious art schools such as the New York Film Academy and the Rhode Island School of Design. Since my film was screened on Saturday, I was able to peruse the many college booths and learn about the various application processes, requirements and curriculums, which helped me better understand what would be needed of me to pursue my passion of filmmaking.
There were also many technology companies at the film festival showcasing their latest products. For example, I was able to demo Final Cut Pro’s new 3D editing that is coming soon. I put on goggles and was transported to a tropical environment where I was rope swinging. Since I had the goggles on, I could completely turn my head and see different aspects of my new location.
Finally, Sunday night, after the remainder of the films were screened, the awards ceremony was held at the beautiful Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. The recipient of the festival’s Elevation Award was Brian Robbins who has worked on major productions such as Varsity Blues, Good Burger, Norbit and many other youthful comedies. The festival founder, Andrew Jenks, held an interview with him on stage during the awards ceremony in which Brian Robbins discussed his own experience in the movie business as well as helpful advice to aspiring filmmakers.
I was so grateful to be invited to the All American High School Film Festival not only because of the great honor it is to have my work recognized, but also due to the grandeur of the event, the numerous networking opportunities, and the privilege it was to have met such a wide variety of talented teenage filmmakers who share my interests.