Westfield’s Got Talent: 2 Westfield Students’ Film Win Awards

Since 2016, New Jersey students in grades 1 through 12 have gotten a shot to show off their talent in The Big Dreams Youth Film Festival, the youth portion of the Westfield International Film Festival.  Young filmmakers compete for the awards Best Animation, Best Narrative, Best Documentary, and Best Film of the Festival.  Category winners receive a trophy and $10 gift card to Westfield’s own Morano Gelato.  The winner of the Best Film of the Festival award makes a guest appearance on the television show, “Classic Movies with Ron MacCloskey” and has a special screening of their film at the main event, the Westfield International Film Festival.

This year, two of the awards went to Westfield students. Madeline Manger, age 9, won Best Narrative for her film, “School Friends.” Her film protrays three best friends who get into a fight, get into trouble, yet ultimately makeup. And  Zach Marcus, age 12 of Westfield & Jordan Mirrione, age 12 of Scotch Plains, received the Rising Star award for their film “You Are Not Alone,” a movie is about a boy whose house is broken into while he is home alone. Congrats to these ambitious students. We can’t wait to see you on the silver screen! See all the winners and their titles below.

​BEST NARRATIVE – GRAMMAR SCHOOL:
“School Friends”
Directed by Madeline Manger (9)”
Grade 3 from Westfield

BEST DOCUMENTARY – MIDDLE SCHOOL:
​”In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust”
Directed by Carli Platt (13)
Grade 7 from Millburn

BEST NARRATIVE – MIDDLE SCHOOL:
“Ball Hog”
Directed by Michelle Tang (13)
Grade 8 from Metuchen

BEST ANIMATION – HIGH SCHOOL:
“Scraps”
Directed by Shannon Miller (16)
Grade 11 from Manalapan

BEST DOCUMENTARY – HIGH SCHOOL:
“Dali Schonfelder: The Nalu Story”
Directed by Madison Rambowski (16)
Grade 11 from Hardyston

BEST NARRATIVE – HIGH SCHOOL:
“GONE”
Directed by Alice Almiron (17)
Grade 12 from Passaic

RISING STAR AWARD:
“You Are Not Alone”
Directed by Zach Marcus (12) & Jordan Mirrione (12)
Grade 6 from Westfield

BEST FILM OF THE FESTIVAL:
“GONE”
Directed by Alice Almiron (17)
Grade 12 from Passaic

​For more info about Big Dreams & Silver Screens, visit the BDSS page.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."

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