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Film Club Hosts 12th Annual Festival of Student Shorts

Film Club Hosts 12th Annual Festival of Student Shorts

Film Club Hosts 12th Annual Festival of Student Shorts


Stills from student films clockwise: Tides of Love, Evolene, Done, and Home, sick.


June 2, 2023

Peter Berlizov '24

On the evening of May 27, the school rolled out the red carpet in front of Walker Auditorium and welcomed Emmy-award winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmakers as judges at the 12th annual Hotchkiss Film Festival. 

Community members attended a showing of 15 short films created by students from ten domestic and international schools, chosen from over 100 submissions by Ms. Ann Villano, instructor in film, and co-head of the Film Club Harry Morelli ’23. This year, the school welcomed two guest judges — Ms. Doro Bachrach, Emmy Award-winning producer of The Truman Show and Dirty Dancing, and Mr. Richard Hankin, documentary filmmaker and editor of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Capturing the Friedmans. 

Before the screening, members of the Film Club attended a catered dinner with Ms. Bachrach and Mr. Hankin in the Faculty Lounge. Club members then joined community members gathered in Walker. Morelli and board member Lucy Hall ’25 delivered an opening address. 

Four films included in the show were created by students from the school. These included Tides of Love by Anika Balwada ’23, Harry Morelli ’23, and Doug Wang ’23; Evolene by Sam Mao ’24; Home, sick by Angela Li ’24; and Done! by Trey Ramirez ’26. 

Produced by Senior students in Honors Advanced Filmmaking, Tides of Love explored different forms of teenage love and featured actors Chase Dobson ’23, Isabella Wei ’23, Alex Tolis ’23, Sophie Perkel ’24 and Noah Scarano ’24. Home, sick featured extensive on-location footage from Li’s hometown of Hong Kong as well as footage of Lakeville, CT. Quisha Lee ’24, the star of Li’s movie, lives just 20 minutes from Li. The final film, I Want It That Way by Luke Richardson from the Williston Northampton School featured songs by Billy Joel and The Backstreet Boys that had audience members clapping their hands and singing along. 

Ellis Chung ’25 said, “I loved the range of films in the festival – there was a perfect balance of comedy, drama, and documentary films from a number of schools. There was amazing energy in Walker; it was clear the level of attention and engagement the films commanded.” 

The award for Best Cinematography went to Balwada, Morelli, and Wang for Tides of Love; Best Super Short went to Lila Caruso from Sacred Heart Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut for her one-minute experimental sequence In Order to Create Chaos; Best Picture went to Luke Kachadorian from Oyster River High School for his amusing short film, Walkman. The judges created two impromptu awards for Best Editing and Best Personal Essay, which they gave to Cait Foster from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York City for Dear Admissions and Li for Home, sick, respectively. Li’s personal narrative about navigating the liminal space between home in Hong Kong and home at boarding school earned high praise from Mr. Hankin, who said that most of his graduate students at the School of Visual Arts do not produce such a professional balance of well-edited shots and compelling story. 

Wang, board member of Film Club, said “To have your very own film festival (to hear audiences cheer, gasp, laugh, or heckle your film and other films live) just speaks to another instance of how special Hotchkiss is.”

Petr Berlizov is an editor-in-chief for The Record.

February 1st

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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