Winners announced for the 2019 Basie Center Teen + College Film Fest


RED BANK – The Count Basie Center crowned the best of the best in New Jersey student filmmaking on Saturday, April 6th at the organization’s first-ever Basie Teen + College Film Fest.

More than 80 films were submitted to the festival, a record for Basie student film competitions. This year marked the first time the Basie Center has opened its student film festival and competition to middle schoolers, as well as New Jersey high school graduates or residents attending college out-of-state.

Panelists Kim Sorowitz Allen (left), Tom Bernard, Martha Pinson and Scott Feinstein address the crowd at the Basie Center Teen + College Film Fest

In the end, the following titles received laurels in their respective categories:


Best Narrative FilmKING (Director: Matthew McIntyre; Mount Olive Middle School)
Best DocumentaryA Beginning To A Clean Environment (Director: Evis Diaz-Quintero, All Saints Episcopal Day School, Hoboken)
Best Acting – Matthew McIntyre, KING
Best Direction – Matthew McIntyre, KING


Best Narrative FilmUninspired (Director: Truman Segal, West Orange High School)
Best DocumentaryThe Crown Heights Riots: From Rage to Reconciliation (Director: Alexander Fezza, Biotechnology High School, Freehold Township)
Best Acting – Vic Pater, Rose Of Jericho (Middletown South High School)
Best Direction – Truman Segal, Uninspired


Best Narrative FilmProm Queens (Director: Cory Souto, Syracuse University*)
Best DocumentaryMy Name Is Anon(ymous) (Director: Jennifer Seitis, Ramapo College of New Jersey)
Best Acting – Jared Duryea, Night Viper (Stockton University)
Best Direction – Cory Souto, Prom Queens

Bayonne High School took home the festivals School Award, a $1,000 cash prize and Sony filmmaking equipment for tabulating the highest scores of any school with multiple entries. Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover, a film by Marlboro Memorial Middle School’s Damian Rogowski, took home the day’s Audience Award.

Awards were handed out to all category winners, while the Best Director recipients in the high school and college category will also receive a summer internship experience at Sony Pictures Classics. That company’s co-founder and co-president, Tom Bernard, met with students throughout the afternoon, offering tips on working in the film industry and encouraging them to endlessly network.

Sony Pictures Classics’ Tom Bernard speaks with a student filmmaker

Martha Pimson, a script supervisor for legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, producer Kim Surowitz Allen and film industry PR executive Scott Feinstein of 42West also joined Bernard for a Q&A panel, where they offered insights on their careers and provided a glimpse of what students could expect should they choose to work in film.

Twenty-four films were previously announced as Basie Teen + College Film Fest “Official Selections,” showcasing some of the best Garden State student filmmakers and perhaps offering a sneak-peek at what’s to come as the state attracts more main-attraction film and television projects.

A Beginning to a Clean Environment (Evis Dias Quintero, All Saints Episcopal Day School, Hoboken)
A Sensation (Kyle Farscht, Millburn High School)
Algebra Noir (Noah Resnick, Kean University)
Burn City (John Tuohy, Red Bank Regional High School)
Clark (Steven Ruggiero, Fordham University)
Clown (Keeley Giblin, Middletown South High School)
Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover (Damian Rogowski, Marlboro Memorial Middle School)
Fermata (Jake Wichansky, New York University)
Goodbye Napolini’s (Vaughn Battista, Communications High School, Wall)
KING (Matthew McIntyre, Mount Olive Middle School)
Life in Color (Devon Lorencovitz, Sussex County Technical High School)
Mob Mentality (Andrew Nussbaum, Morris County School of Technology)
My Name is Anon(ymous) (Jennifer Seitis, Ramapo College Of New Jersey)
Night Viper (Jared Duryea, Stockton University)
Ocean Pollution Documentary (Madelyn Brue, Ryane Fisahn and Sydney Mahieu, Memorial Middle School, Point Pleasant)
Prom Queens (Cory Souto, Syracuse University)
Rocky Road (Trent Algayer, Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Highlands)
Rose of Jericho (Keeley Giblin, Middletown South High School)
Run (Ricardo Segarra, Rowan University)
Shoplifting – A PSA (Jill Lynch, Markham Place School, Little Silver)
The Art of Observation (Annie Fleisch, Howell High School)
The Crown Heights Riots: From Rage to Reconciliation (Alexander Fezza, Biotechnology High School, Freehold Township)
Uninspired (Truman Segal, West Orange High School)
Wanted (Isaiah Gomez, East Brunswick Tech – School of the Arts)

A panel of esteemed adjudicators reviewed this year’s submissions, including Sony Pictures Classics’ Bernard; Lakehouse Music Academy owner John Leidersdorf; television director Hanelle Culpepper (Criminal Minds, Gotham, Flash); Scorsese script supervisor Martha Pinson; Clerks and Mallrats star Brian O’Halloran; Kate Lear, Broadway producer and daughter of the legendary Norman Lear; Linda Safran of The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures; writer and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Michael Vickerman; 42West’s Feinstein; Alex Biese of the Asbury Park Press; and Allison Tratner from the New Jersey Council on the Arts.