Marin Mazzie to be Honored in Student Film LIKE US

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The Family School Association Performing Arts Program of The Ethical Community Charter School together with THISLEARNING®, is proud to announce LIKE US, a live action film (45 minutes), has been accepted into the Golden Door International Film Festival. The film will screen for competition at Landmark Loew's Jersey theatre on Saturday, September 21stat 8:00pm. The official trailer has been shared 205 times and received over 12,000 views on Facebook @fsaperformingarts using hashtag #LIKEUSMovieand #StopBullying. To purchase tickets to the premiere

The Family School Association's Performing Arts program provided an unprecedented extracurricular movie-making opportunity with professional educator and producer Kris Van Nest during the 2018-19 school year, all at no cost to the 72students involved. The film raises awareness of the nuanced and widespread nature of bullying and serves as a prevention tool to be shared with other schools. It also raises awareness for issues of childhood homelessness, gender identity, ovarian cancer and parental death. LIKE US is dedicated in memory of Tony Award Winner and Theater Hall of Fame Inductee Marin Mazzie, who passed away from ovarian cancer last September. Mazzie was a supporter of arts education and a long-time client and friend of the program's volunteer director, Kim Correro.

LIKE US is a unique project directed by Kris Van Nest, most known for his work in television and corporate videography, as well as teaching of filmmaking/video courses in Jersey City. With Assistant Director Ann E. Wallace, Van Nest led students in 6th - 8th grade through a ten-week screenwriting process starting in September 2018. The ten student screenwriters were challenged to tell a story with an ethical dilemma at its center and includea large cast of student actors. New York casting agent Meghan Rafferty was tasked with building a diverse cast, allowing all interested students in grades 2-8 to join the project while teaching them how to prepare for an on-camera audition. Over the winter, Van Nest introduced the participating students to everything they needed to know about rehearsing and film production. Both on and off screen, students learned technical skills, such as how to hold a camera and operate sound and lighting equipment. Equally important, they were taught not to judge themselves or each other during the creative production process.

LIKE US is Kris Van Nest's directorial film debut.

The student screenwriting team includes Arko Arditya, Abigail Wallace Burch, Ariyana Clinton, Tala Issa, Kate Lester, Leo McCartin, Billie Jo Rivero, William Santomauro, Daphne Stifelman, and Stevie Vago, assisted by Kris Van Nest and Ann E. Wallace.

LIKE US stars nearly 60 student actors, all making their on-camera debut, and introduces Jonah Briggs, Holloway Cunningham, Leo Frohwirth, Billie Jo Rivero and Sofia Santomauro in leading roles.

LIKE US supporting performances include Michele Sorvino (Inside Hollywood on the Hudson and Director of Golden Door International Film Festival), Meredith Burns (Executive Director of Art House Productions), Award winning Radhika Konda (creator of web series Ammacuhi on TeluguOne), Chase Steele Greye (Brooklyn-based musician, photographer, and life coach), and Sam Pesin (President of The Friends of Liberty State Park).

LIKE US music is by film and television composer Stephen Ulrich.
Songs by singer, songwriter Val Emmich, "Hard To Hurt Someone" and "Take It All To Heart". Singer Natalie Merchant "Break Your Heart". Singer, songwriter Chrissy Roberts "Waterfall" and "Wandering" off her new album SONGS ON THE FIRE ESCAPE releasing this fall.

LIKE US is produced by THE FAMILY School Association Performing Arts Program, Kim Correro, Kris Van Nest and Ann E. Wallace


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