Youth Festival Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Middle & High School Filmmakers

By: Jun. 02, 2017

Big Dreams & Silver Screens Youth Festival (formerly the Rahway Film Festival Jr), is now moving into its second season.

Twenty films created by talented student filmmakers from middle and high schools across New Jersey will screen at Patria Latin Bistro on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm. The attending filmmakers will participate in a Q&A afterwards, hosted by Edison TV's Ron MacCloskey of "Classic Movies with Ron MacCloskey."

Winners of the "Best Short Animation," "Best Short Narrative," and "Best Short Documentary" awards will be announced during a Shirley Temple Toast on the red carpet after the Q&A.

All attendees will receive a 10% discount (1 coupon per table) to dine at Patria Latin Bistro after attending the event.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 at the door. Tickets are also available on EventBrite at

If purchasing at the door, we recommend arriving early as space is limited.

All proceeds go towards supporting Big Dreams & Silver Screens, Inc, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the state of New Jersey.

The selected films are as follows:

"A Blank Piece of Paper"

Narrative | Runtime: 01:20

Director: Ruchir Bodicherla

Grade: Grade 8

Synopsis: The things that can be done with a blank piece of paper are endless. In this film, director Ruchir Bodicherla demonstrates some of the many possibilities of paper. Scripts, speeches, poems. The list goes on and on. Perhaps the greatest thing about paper, is that it shares so much with life itself.

"You Are What You Wear"

Documentary | Runtime: 11:37

Director: Alexia Ross

Grade: Grade 9 from Fanwood, NJ

Synopsis: I decided to go out and ask our youth what fashion means to them and if you really are what you wear. "You Are What You Wear" is a raw documentary featuring various students from my high school.

"Parallax Dreams"

Experimental | Runtime: 6:00

Director: John Tuohy

Grade: Grade 10

Synopsis: A lost traveler's introspective journey through an unknown land.

"A Magical Affair"

Animation | Runtime: 3:05

Director: Tyson Animation High School from East Orange, NJ

Grade: Grade 11

Synopsis: This magical couple is in for a trick!


Drama | Runtime: 1:39

Director: Abigail Karl

Grade: Grade 11

Synopsis: If you could explain something to someone that you never got the chance to, what would you say

"Anywhere but Here"

Narrative | Runtime: 5:22

Director: Emma Nafz, Melissa Herforth

Grade: Grade 11 from Butler, NJ

Synopsis: After an argument with her boyfriend, Grace (Courtney Bulger) befriends runaway teen, Bolton (John Valle) at a bus stop. Bonding over their similar situations, they decide to go on an adventure together in order to forget their problems.

"I AM"

Documentary | Runtime: 2:38

Director: Julia Forsyth

Grade: Grade 11 from Highlands, NJ

Synopsis: Who is TC An inward look.


Narrative | Runtime: 3:02

Director: ChristIan Smith

Grade: Grade 11 from Highlands, NJ

Synopsis: Imperfection and disbelief. We examine the highly critical mind, an Apollonian mind being faced with the internal darkness. A darkness that is impossible to burn away, it can only be accepted, and brought together with our light side in the symbolic "Mysterium Coniunctionis." An experience our character does not experience. His own creations are miserable and alone, and in the end, destroy themselves entirely.

"Climate Change PSA"

Narrative | Runtime: 0:59

Director: Shannon McGavin, Tara Cavanagh

Grade: Grade 11 from Highlands, NJ

Synopsis: Is Earth getting warmer Can we do anything about it This short, informative public service announcement video about climate change answers those questions.


Documentary | Runtime: 4:32

Director: Isabel Otis

Grade: Grade 12 from Highlands, NJ

"Break the Cycle"

Experimental | Runtime: 4:28

Director: Emily Capriotti

Grade: Grade 12 from Howell, NJ

Synopsis: A young girl battling depression and anxiety, personified. She is in an abusive relationship with herself.


Music Video | Runtime: 4:32

Director: Jon Sosidka

Grade: Grade 12 from Clinton, NJ

Synopsis: The official music video for Matt Walden's "Breathe."- a video about a music artist struggling to maintain creativity and finding inspiration in uncommon places.


Narrative | Runtime: 3:10

Director: Brett Boon

Grade: Grade 12 from Butler, NJ

Synopsis: Inspired by true events, "Prom" tells the story of two girls who have to choose to keep their pride or give in, in order to go to the prom together.

"Charlotte Posts a Photo"

Horror | Runtime: 6:53

Director: Kierin Rogers | Writer: Samantha LaRochelle | Producer: Kaitlyn Holtz

Grade: Grade 12 from Wall, NJ

Synopsis: Charlotte posts a new photo online and the negative comments manifest themselves in unforeseen ways.

"The Revision"

Narrative | Runtime: 8:18

Director: Vittoria Orlando, Judd Lopez

Grade: Grade 12

Synopsis: The Revision is about a high school boy who has an encounter with Death, herself.

"Circus on the Moon"

Animation | Runtime: 4:56

Director: Corinne Antonelli

Grade: Grade 12

Synopsis: Corinne Antonelli's animated film "Circus on the Moon," tells the story of a woman, man and boy, all experiencing hard times in life. They get transported to a circus on the moon and are brought with people from all over the world. Everyone is brought together and realize that when they learn to accept their differences they together can create a beautiful mosaic of cultures, races, and expression.


Music Video | Runtime: 3:14

Director: Holly Grobholz, AnnMarie Ciulla

Grade: Grade 12 from Washington, NJ

Synopsis: The distance between everyone and everything increases within each day. It seems like the world is colorless. I've been trying to find the color in those around me. I have to run away to search for the color in myself.


Animation | Runtime: 2:30

Director: Leanna Culver

Grade: Grade 12

Synopsis: A small creature made up of yarn stumbles its way through the search for the only thing it doesn't have: a second eye.

"Fun Facts About Goats"

Animation | Runtime: 1:56

Director: Kate Manning

Grade: Grade 12 from Highlands, NJ

Synopsis: This creative, stop animation video gives an overview of some fun facts about goats

"Mrs. K"

Documentary | Runtime: 6:45

Director: Amy Conrad, Julia D'Aguanno

Grade: Grade 12 from Highlands, NJ

Synopsis: A tribute to this Teacher of the Year who continually inspires, educates, and loves all who she comes in contact with.

For more information, please visit

This event is sponsored by:

Just Be You Performing Arts, an organization dedicated to mentoring and enriching young aspiring performing artists in a positive, uplifting, safe, and fun environment.

Patria Latin Bistro, a restaurant and mixology lounge in Rahway, NJ The outstanding Latin cooking of Patria's restaurant received 3 stars from The New York Times and raves from Bon Appetit magazine as well as high ratings from Zagat.

Wizdom Media, a full-service graphic design agency and highly specialized service provider in Rahway, NJ.


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