The Fort Lee Film Commission’s 8th annual Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow (JFOT) Bergen County High School Student Film Festival finals took place Saturday, and for the first time, Fort Lee High School filmmakers took home “Best of the Fest” honors.
Also for the first time in the festival’s history there was a tie for “Best of the Fest,” according to executive director Tom Meyers of the Fort Lee Film Commission, which received more than 100 submissions this year.
Meyers said five finalists were selected and screened at the festival on Nov. 10 at MediaMix Studio in Allendale.
“The Fort Lee film, ‘Who Are We?’ is very interesting,” Meyers said. “It is about a group of Fort Lee High School students who formed their own dance troupe but have nowhere to practice.”
In the film, the dance group gets kicked out of the community center and the recreation center and are forced to practice wherever they can in Fort Lee, including parking lots, the outdoor stage at the community center and rooftops.
“This is a great film about kids and their passion for the arts—in this case dance—and they used another art form, film, to tell their story,” Meyers said.
The Fort Lee High School filmmakers are Jiho Kim and Eric Jung. Eric was away, but Jiho was able to attend the screening Saturday in Allendale.
The other “Best of the Fest” winner was Shannen Siramarco of Paramus High School for her film, “The Shadows,” and honorable mention went to Ridgewood High School student Chris Shadbolt for his film, “The Harbinger of Hypnagogia Mangrove,” according to Meyers.
The annual student film festival is open to all high school students residing in Bergen County.