Burlington County announces winners of juried short film festival

Two-day festival concludes with 11 films selected as this year’s award winners.

Special to The Sun: Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel (far right) is among the film enthusiasts at opening night of the Burlington County juried short film festival at the county library. Others are county parks’ event coordinators Lynn Lemyre (middle left) and Nate Wood (far left) and Elizabeth Parchment, director of marketing for the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission.

Burlington County’s first juried short film festival concluded May 13 following two evenings of entertaining screenings, and the Burlington County Commissioners announced that 11 films were selected as this year’s award winners.

The winners were selected by a jury of three professional filmmakers and educators.

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Twenty-seven films were screened at the Burlington County Library during the festival and more than 150 people attended.

“Burlington County’s first Juried Short Film Festival was a sure-fire hit,” said Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel. “The creativity, skill and emotion communicated by these films was extraordinary and showed that the art of filmmaking is alive and flourishing in Burlington County.”

The following films received awards:

  • In the Narrative Film Category, “STAND OFF!”, a film by Gabriel Pascual, of Burlington, received the Best Film prize. “All In You”, a film made by Javier Cortez, of Robbinsville, received the runner-up Outstanding Film award.
  • In the documentary category, “We are Suns”, a film by Sam Spencer of Brooklyn, NY, won the Best Film award. “Stacy”, a film by Philip Garrison, of Boonton, received the Outstanding Film prize.
  • In the animation category, “Dams: Pros and Cons”, a film by Ava Barton, of Wilmington, Del., was awarded the Best Film prize. “Solomon Grundy”, from Maisie O’Brien, of Philadelphia, was selected as the Outstanding Film winner.
  • In the special Parks category, “Chatsworth”, a film by Jesse Cornaglia and Joseph Junod, both of Haddon Township, received the Best Film award. “The Rancocas Creek: What I Love Part 1”, from Heidi Winzinger, of Mount Holly, received the Outstanding Film award.
  • In addition to the category awards, three films were selected as Judges Choice Award winners – “Strawberry Shakes”, a film by Ava Barton of Wilmington, “A Green Dream”, a film by Colin Llewellyn, of Moorestown and “Better Half”, a film by Claire Delany, of Wenonah.

The festival was organized by the Burlington County Parks Division with support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. It is one of several special events held by the county to help entertain, educate and cultivate the arts.

Eckel, who is the Board’s liaison to the County Department of Resource Conservation and Parks, congratulated all the participating filmmakers, along with the festival organizers. She noted that New Jersey’s film industry continues to grow and attract more film, television and commercial shoots.

The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission recently announced that director M. Night Shyamalan was filming parts of his next film, “Knock At The Cabin”, on location in Burlington County, and several other major films have recently been filmed in New Jersey, including Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and the Academy Award-winning film “Joker”.

On May 17, Gov. Phil Murphy also announced plans for the construction of a $125 million film and television studio in Newark that will be used by the film production company, Lionsgate.

“New Jersey is becoming a top-choice location for film and television productions, and our film festival helped showcase many of our artistic talents and amazing locations in Burlington County,” Eckel said. “It was a fantastic addition to a calendar packed with county events, programs and activities, and our board can’t wait for next year’s festival to see more exciting films made right here in Burlington County.”

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