She was so excited at taking the top People’s Choice Award at the Sixth Annual MorristownGreen.com Film Festival, Abigail Semple said she wanted to turn cartwheels, “but I won’t, ’cause that would be weird.”
“You have no idea how happy I am right now,” said the Morristown High School sophomore. “This is my first trophy ever!”
Morristown High School filmmakers shone at this year’s festival, where juniors Fiona Mullen and Martha Sohn swept the top awards in two new categories: Critics’ Choice, selected for superior artistic merit and sponsored by Sustainable Morristown, and Diversity, sponsored by the Building Cross Cultural Communities Committee of the Morris County Human Relations Committee.
More than two dozen films competed for honors at this year’s festival, where the theme was documentaries.
Semple said she created her winning film, “Passing Time,” from a larger piece called “Masses,” part of a six-month, six-video project. But her festival entry came together quickly. “I actually did this film in 24 hours.”
Mullen and Sohn’s film, “Four Thousand Miles,” chronicled Sohn’s transition from living in Germany to Morristown. Sohn actually was in Germany during the festival, but Mullen was on hand to accept their awards. The film took four months to make, she said. “We’re both really into photography.”
They created the documentary for a high school class, but “we pretty much taught ourselves to edit and film,” Mullen said.
Sixteen seventh- and eighth-graders spent a year in filmmaking and animation class creating the film “That of God,” submitted by Andrew Cohen, that took honorable mention in the Diversity Awards.
Second Prize for People’s Choice went to Jacob Weiner for “Bacon,” investigating just why bacon is so popular.
“I feel like I have to go on a diet from watching this movie,” said MG Editor and festival emcee Kevin Coughlin. “What food group’s next for you?”
“Ribs,” said Weiner.
He succumbed to bacon’s lure in childhood, but not immediately. “When I was really little, I was scared of bacon,” he admitted.
Researching his topic wasn’t hard. “Bacon’s everywhere,” he said.
Clearly, he taste-tested as he went along. “Chocolate bacon’s great. That’s the best thing they have,” he said.
And the research continues. “I still haven’t explored all the bacon options.”
But some options may remain untried.
“Do you use bacon deodorant?” asked a child in the audience.
Completing the People’s Choice Awards, Morristown high school sophomores Kirsten Traudt and Madeleine Zurcher took third prize for “The Fad Cycle,” which explored how everything from Hula Hoops to certain songs become wildly popular.
Several hundred movie lovers attended the film festival at the Morristown Hyatt to cheer on their favorite filmmakers. Local band SteppingSTONE opened the evening, which boasted an indoor beach party theme complete with a line of amateur hula dancers.
GOT PICTURES? SEND’ EM HERE