The Millburn Film Festival will take place this Friday, April 1st, at 7:30 PM. It is hard to believe that all of these films were created by students. The professionalism and sheer quality that each film is made with is second to none. It is no surprise however, why millburn continues to flourish year-in-year-out in both academics and film. The high quality that each film possesses reflects the mentality of the classic “Millburn Student”. From a young age, Millburn students are taught to do things to the highest of their potential. This is demonstrated by the thoroughness, creativity, and overall quality of each film. The attitude of the classic “Millburn Student” is the reason behind why the Millburn Film Fest is a success each year. Each year, every person leaves the Film Festival with their mouths wide open, a little drool coming out, feeling badly about themselves. Parents wondering how it is possible that a student could make a film of such high quality, with such professionalism. And this year is no different.
In this year’s Film Festival, there are a number of different genres of films. It is important to remember that each film is different, thus, it is unfair to compare the films with each other. As one would expect, it is an honor to have a film accepted into the Film Festival. If the film was accepted that means that it has to be of high quality with little errors. So in this article, the primary focus will be on the positives of each video. Below is a review of each individual film. It explains just why each film will leave you speechless.
“2:32” – submitted by Brendan Weissman (11th Grade):
From the acting to the plot to the music, this film had everything a viewer could ask for. “2:32” is about two students looking for a lost library book, and in order to graduate, they must find the missing book before school ends at 2:32 PM. Weissman’s film has many jokes throughout, and he does an outstanding job of incorporating his jokes into the film. Let’s not forget the stellar acting job done by Nick Ryan and Luke Wrobleski though. The chemistry that these two have on screen looks so natural and fluid. Digging deeper into the film, Weissman did a fantastic job with the lighting, which in turn, really benefitted the overall mood and tone he wanted to portray in the film. Without a doubt, this film will be one that makes each person smile during the night.
“Date Night” – submitted by Aaron Surloff (11th Grade):
“Garbage? The fight scenes were amazing. It must have taken the actors weeks to train for that fight scene”. This dialogue exemplifies Surloff’s confidence in his film. With that being said, Surloff has every right to be confident as his film was truly special. The amount of time put into the stunts in the opening scene of the film really attributed to the film’s overall success. This opening scene does a great job of getting the viewers hooked. Of any film in the Film Fest, “Date Night” has the most intriguing opening scene. It is evident that Surloff has a love for special effects, and his extreme focus to detail is clear to anyone watching. The use of frame story is also impressive, and it is perfectly executed within Surloff’s film “Date Night”. Not only does it look great, but it also sounds great. Matt Weintraub did a great job with the sound effects. The sound effects added depth to the film and helped improve the story that it was telling. Being one of the highlights of the film festival, anyone with a love for Star Wars, special effects, battle scenes, and a cute storyline will love this film.
“Door After Door” – submitted by Jasen Aziz (12th Grade):
A renown filmmaker at Millburn High School, big things are always expected of Aziz. With that being said, Aziz lived up to his high expectations, and produced one of the best films of the night. “Door After Door” is about a kid, played by Aziz himself, trying to get ready for school; he runs into some problems on the way. “Door After Door” is flawless. It is the perfect film. Aziz’s love and passion for creating special effects and animation is demonstrated in his film. These features will leave any viewer in disbelief. However, it is worth noting that both the soundtrack and the sound effects in the film should not be overlooked. Without the quality of the audio, the film would not have the same “It Factor” that it currently has. Aziz does a stellar job of using foley sounds to highlight his animation and special effects, and it should not go unnoticed. This film only adds to Aziz’s impressive resumé in film, and it is evident to all that he has a clear future in filmmaking.
“Let’s Disappear” – submitted by Kate Parker-Lentz (10th Grade)
There are not enough words to describe this film and give it the credit that it deserves. It is flat-out unbelievable. Everything in this film looks so professional. It is a music video of the band, The Parkers, singing their song “Let’s Disappear”. From the quality of the song itself, to the special effects of the video, “Let’s Disappear” is without a doubt the video of the night. After watching this film, it is a certainty that the lyrics of the song will be stuck in your head. However, the emotions of the song are truly depicted through the visual of the music video. All people involved in the creation of this music video should be proud of their amazing work, and if you have not seen this music video yet, I urge you to go to the Film Festival to watch it.
“Long Story Short – I Babysat” – submitted by Ethan Podell (12th Grade)
If this film doesn’t make you laugh out loud nothing will. The jokes told by Podell are both simple and natural. That is ultimately the best kind of humor. This video is about a teenage boy, Podell, who is stuck babysitting his little sister. Just imagine what is going through Podell’s mind while he is babysitting his sister. “Long Story Short – I Babysat” has an excellent storyline because it is relatable to everyone. Podell also does a great job narrating his film. The music is also fitting; it immediately pulls the viewers into the video. For the best writers and comedians, joke telling should come naturally. Jokes should not be forced into the writing, but they should come naturally. Podell’s film shows why he should be considered a great writer as his jokes just flow with the film. “Long Story Short – I Babysat” is the most relatable film in the Film Fest, and it is the film for everyone craving a good laugh.
“Midnight Euphoria” – Chloe Xiang (9th Grade)
Xiang shows immense talent with her film “Midnight Euphoria”. Xiang’s narration and writing ability definitely stands out in “Midnight Euphoria”. Along with the writing of the film, Xiang’s use of symbolism was highlighted, specifically by her puzzle animation. Also, the lighting was another great aspect of this film. Whenever a negative emotion wanted to be portrayed, the lighting was dark. Xiang did a stellar job of making the writing reflect the mood of her narration. Xiang’s “Midnight Euphoria” showed her immense potential in filmmaking, and it should be expected that she will enter many more films years to come.
“The Millennial” – Swathi Nachiappan (12th Grade)
“The Millennial” consisted of many jokes about the “Millennial” generation. It is a discovery-like film about the makeup of the modern species known as “The Millennial”. In this film, the writers found many ways to jab at the life of a “Millennial” and some of the things that millennial’s do. The opening scene does a nice job of establishing the film and the direction it is going to take. Many of the shots were done well and executed to perfection. The narration and the writing is also spot-on. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the cameo appearances in the film helped the overall quality of the film instead of diminishing it. For many films, cameo appearances can have the opposite affect, so it is good to see that this was not the case for this film. All in all, this was a clever film with smart jokes that everyone will enjoy viewing.
“New York City” – Julia Newman (11th Grade)
Quality is always expected when Julia Newman makes a film. In her film “New York City”, Newman shows everyone her mastery of filmmaking. There is not a stroke wrong with this film. Everything that is incorporated into the film has a professional feel to it. From the writing to the narration to the music to the shots, every aspect of this film is done with the utmost of professionalism. The music really brought the video to life, and reflected very well with Newman’s overall message. As narrator of the film, Newman did a nice job of incorporating her own emotions into the narration. In some films with only narration, it can at times be boring, but Newman prevented this from occurring. It is not surprising that Newman is the only filmmaker with two videos in this year’s Film Festival.
“Paranoid” – Kyle Farscht (9th Grade)
Age is but a number as Freshman phenom Kyle Farscht produced one of the best films of the night. “Paranoid” is an amazing horror film with absolutely no dialogue or narration. That’s right, a silent film. Yet, the message is told clearly due to the amazing lighting job as well as the effective shots Farscht took. Also, the acting was quite stellar to say the least. The actress put her true emotion into the role which ultimately benefitted the overall message being told. Also, the title sequences and the credits enhance the film by giving it more depth. If Farscht lives up to his potential as the Freshman phenom, he could be one of the most elite filmmakers in Millburn Film Festival history. Big things are expected!
“Skyliners” – Julia Damesek (12th Grade)
A nice documentary about Ice-Skating. Damesek has similar qualities to Newman in her filmmaking. Like Newman, she is a master with a camera. Each shot has purpose and is effective. Damesek also takes beautiful, clear shots that every filmmaker and photographer must appreciate. Like most films seen in the Film Festival, “Skyliners” is executed with extreme professionalism and it has no noticeable flaws. Damesek shows great ability, and hopefully will continue along the filmmaking path for many years to come.
“Still in Motion” – Julia Newman (11th Grade)
“Still in Motion” is a documentary about Emma Wishnow’s dream to become a photojournalist. Again, Newman’s film is executed with extreme professionalism. A standout feature of the film was the sound effects, better known as foley sounds, added film. These foley sounds really added depth to the film and made it look and sound more professional. To add onto that, the recordings taken from the archives of past interviews by historical photojournalists gave the film another dimension. A dimension that is not seen in any other film accepted into the Film Festival. Also, Wishnow’s story about her failure allows many of the viewers to connect and feel empathy with Wshnow, and root for her in the future. Wishnow also shows true ability as the photos in the film are of real quality. Lastly, this film included original music by Julia Newman. Something that may go unnoticed because of how professional the music actually sounds. It is clear to everyone that both Wishnow and Newman have bright futures ahead of them.
“Whistle” – Kevin Wang (8th Grade)
“Whistle” is the film that is going to make the whole audience cry when they watch it. After watching this film, preparing to take notes, I noticed that it was submitted by 8th grader Kevin Wang. I couldn’t believe my eyes, how could an 8th grader write something with so much emotion? “Whistle” is a heartbreaking film about a girl trying to whistle. Not only was the story good, but so were the shots. From the story itself to the camerawork and all in between, there is very little if anything to fault in this video. Kevin Wang and anybody else who contributed to the creation of “Whistle” should feel extremely proud. “Whistle” is true art. It is an amazing film that will be remembered by all.
All of these films warrant the impressive reviews that have been given to them. Each filmmaker should feel proud that they have been accepted into a film festival with other elite filmmakers. It is why I urge each and every person to attend the Film Festival this Friday, April 1st. Any person with an appreciation for film will be blown away after the night is gone.
Click the link above for the official Promo video of the 2016 Millburn Film Festival.