WESTFIELD, NJ — Big Dreams & Silver Screens held its third annual Big Dreams Youth Film Festival last weekend at The James Ward Mansion, screening a total of 34 films created by kids in grades 3 through 12.
The Grand Salon of the James Ward Mansion on East Broad Street downtown was converted into a movie theater for the day. Student directors were interviewed on the red carpet by Red Carpet Host, local model and actress Zayna Allen.
Westfield third-grader Madeline Manger won "Best Narrative - Grammer School" for her film,"School Friends." Westfield sixth graders Zach Marcus and Jordan Mirrion got the "Rising Star" award for directing "You Are Not Alone."
Other Westfield students whose work was featured were: "Thank You for Carrying Me," directed by Sophie Wayner (grade 10); "Working Title," directed by Jake Tannenbaum (grade 10); and "Technicolor," directed by Sarah Laide and Mikayla Pinto (grade 11).
Other award winners were:
Best Documentary — "In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust," Carli Platt, grade 7, Millburn
Best Narrative - Middle School — "Ball Hog," Michelle Tang, grade 8, Metuchen
Best Animation — "Scraps," Shannon Miller, grade 11, Manalapan
Best Documentary — "Dali Schonfelder: The Nalu Story," Madison Rambowski, grade 11, Hardyston
Best Narrative - High School — "GONE," Alice Almiron, grade 12, Passaic
Best Film of the Festival — "GONE," Alice Almiron, grade 12, Passaic
"Every year I am more and more impressed by the talent of these students," said Festival Director Gina Marie Rodriguez. "Each of them has the ability, should they choose, to pursue a career in the arts. I look forward to seeing them accept their Academy Awards one day."