Saratoga High School media arts students won top honors during the fifth annual Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest, also known as SI DocFest.
Jane Marashian, assistant to the superintendent for the Joint Union High School District said students Stephen Ruff and Michael Hoffman’s film, My New Red Shoes, highlighting the non‐profit My New Red Shoes, won first place and earned $10,000 to be split between the school, the nonprofit and the film‐makers.
The second-place winner was The Path to Integration, a film by Nikki Hashani and Hannah Hansen that features an organization that provides educational resources for people with disabilities. The $6,000 award was shared by Freestyle Academy part of the , and Abilities United of Palo Alto.
Freestyle Academy is located on the campus of Mountain View High School.
Los Altos Hills resident Ellie Vanderlip, a senior at Freestyle Academy, won 1st place in the Flex Catergory and $2,000. Her film, "The Human Motor," dealt with social action, Critical Mass and the conflict between automobile and bicycle transportation.
Placing 4th in the non-profit category and earning $1,000 for the organization Kenya Dream of Cupertino was "Can You Dream," a film by Juniors Janna Wang and Rebecca Walton. The film profiles the organization's goals and accomplishments.
Two semi-finalist films in the Flex category received $300 for outstanding accomplishment. They were "Birdies," by Juniors Noah Hoffman and Lauren Salinero, and "A Freestyler For Change," by Senior Lauren Amorese.
The contest was held at the Camera 12 Cinemas on April 28 and awards totaling $28,050, provided by sponsor and organizer Do Good Docs Corporation, were shared by the top films, the high schools they represented, and their nonprofit organizations.
The third-place winner was, I Agree with Jennifer, a film by Morgan Walter, Silver Angeli and Connor Northend. This film features a 13-year-old girl that started a fundraising program for the homeless. The $4,000 award was shared with San Jose’s Lincoln High School and Elm Street Mission of Santa Cruz.
Kenya Dream, of Cupertino, the subject of “Can You Dream,” received $1,000 for the film created by fourth-place winners Rebecca Walton and Janna Wang of Freestyle Academy.
Fifth-place winner was, “Giving Access,” by Jessica Scarborough of Presentation High School, who won a $750 award for the ACCESS program of Good Samaritan Hospital on the Los Gatos-San Jose border.
The event was hosted by SI DocFest co-founder, Loreli Alba, a senior at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Camera Cinemas, the leading independent movie theater company in the South Bay, was an official sponsor and the host of SI DocFest 2012.
Freestyle Academy's Year-End Exhibition will feature its students' winning films on May 22 on the Freestyle Campus and MVHS Theater, along with other student projects in art, web design, photography, graphic design and audio engineering.
Freestyle's website will also carry its students' work after the May 22 Exhibition through http://www.freestyle.mvla.net/galleries.php
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