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Middlesex County Vo Tech Students are Finalists in State Film Competition

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Ben DiSimone, fimmaker Credits: MCVTHS
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Jasmine Gutierrez, filmmaker Credits: MCVTHS
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Two films by students of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools have been chosen for the second annual Project FX statewide student film festival and competition.

Films by seniors Benjamin DeSimone of Woodbridge and Jasmine Gutierrez of Perth Amboy will be among 10 by high school students and 10 by college students that will be screened at the festival on March 18 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Benjamin and Jasmine are digital film majors in the School of the Arts on the MCVTS East Brunswick Campus.

“It’s nice to see these accolades coming to them after all the hard work and dedication they have put in over four years,” said Louis Libitz, their teacher. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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“This type of honor is testament to the level of work students are producing in that career major,” Principal Jeffrey Bicsko said. “It shows that we are preparing our kids for college and careers.”

Benjamin’s film, “Morning Coffee,” is a one-minute-16-second stop-motion production starring coffee beans on a table top. Jasmine’s entry, “Milk,” is a seven-minute documentary featuring a mother reflecting on her life of dedication to her daughters.

The competition will be judged by a panel that includes Tom Bernard, co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics; Oscar-nominated screenwriter James Schamus (“Brokeback Mountain”); David Iserson, producer of “Mr. Robot,” and Broadway producer, choreographer and actress Maureen Van Zandt.

The public can vote by “liking” or “sharing” the films on Facebook at facebook.com/projectFXbasie.

The grand prize is $1,000, a digital video camera and an internship with Sony Pictures Classics in Manhattan.

Tickets to the festival are free but must be obtained in advance at www.countbasietheatre.org. More information on the festival is available at projectFXbasie.com.

More information on the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools is available at www.mcvts.net. Like us on Facebook – there’s a link on the home page.

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