GREENWICH, Conn. — Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., teen Ben Adler won the top prize of $1,500 Saturday at the Greenwich Film Festival. Ben's film, "Addiction," was entered in the "creative" category, which was judged by filmmaker and Greenwich resident Ron Howard. Students from Westlake High in Thornwood, N.Y., Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich and Wilton High School also won in their film categories.
Sacred Heart student Caroline Kelly of Greenwich won in the documentary category for her film “Live to Pole.” Two other Sacred Heart students, Sheila Moran and Gabriela Lopez of Rye, N.Y., won in the public service announcement category for “Stop the Trend.” Gemma Gamberdell of Wilton High won in the music video category for “Holding On.” And Patrick McCabe of Westlake High School won in the animation category for “I Am an Animator.”
Each genre winner received $500 in cash and feedback from the judges. In addition to a cash prize, Adler won an all-expenses-paid trip to visit the set of the next film from judge Clay Percorin’s production company, Two Ton Films. The festival featured a presentation by Kevin Segalla, founder of the Connecticut Film Center. The five genre winners and grand prize winner were announced at an award ceremony following the screenings.
Of 130 films submitted by private and public school students in Fairfield and Westchester counties, 36 were selected as finalists. They were shown April 28 in Greenwich Library's Cole Auditorium. The festival was sponsored by the Junior League of Greenwich.
Judges, in addition to Howard, included Gretchen Carlson of Greenwich (public service announcement), Clay Pecorin (documentary), Blue Sky Studios (animation) and Jeff Cardoni (music video).