Walpole High School Celebrates 17th Annual Film Festival


Bridget O'Connor

The crew of “The Film Festival Movie” poses after walking the red carpet.

Walpole High School hosted its 17th annual Film Festival on May 7 and 9, followed by the Red Carpet awards night on May 16. On the Red Carpet, students had the opportunity to be interviewed by their peers and take pictures with their crews. After, crews were recognized for their year-long work regarding writing, editing and directing films.

“I thought the festival turned out great,” Film Festival Producer Michael Alan said. “The three nights were each filled with such excitement from the audiences that it created an awesome environment to watch all the films.”

Crews were eligible to win 10 awards; nominations and winners are decided by the Academy, which consists of former film festival students, faculty and other members of the community. Each movie was nominated for Best Film. A comedy with inside jokes referencing previous movies, “The Film Festival Movie”—directed by senior Ava Straccia and junior Emily Tomasetti—was nominated for all 10 awards and won four: Best Director, Best Film, Best Lead Performance and Best Screenplay.

“I loved the togetherness of this year’s festival,” Straccia said. “I feel like it felt less like a competition and more like a group of people supporting and helping one another. The film community really came together for a successful festival.”

Chloe Patel
Senior Javon Jackson interviews the crew of “The Break” on the red carpet.

Another comedy, “The Break”—directed by Griffin Wilkins and Dennis Crowley—was also nominated for all 10 awards, and senior Matt Glynn won Best Supporting Performance for his role. Other winners included senior Toshak Patel for Best Achievement in Music for his work with “The Break” and “The F-Bomb.” This is the second year in a row that Patel has won this award. Freshmen Jessica Elmhurst and Juliana Webster won Best Art Direction for the movie “Big Daddy Kane vs. Jimmy the Kid.” Jacob Talbot from “The Knock” won Best Cinematography. Nicole Waters, Myles Qualter, and Emme DeVito of “Rebel” won Best Editing partially due to their incorporation of talking dogs into the movie. After having roles in four movies this year, Peter Salmans won Best Faculty or Community Performance.

“Though the festival is not about winning awards, it was nice to see six different movies recognized for their hard work. Also, Elmhurst and Webster becoming the first freshmen to win an award was a great moment,” Producer James Connolly said.

Similarly, three of the movies in this year’s festival were sophomore independents, meaning that the filmmakers were not enrolled in the film class and it was their first year making a movie. In order to make their movies, these students were required to dedicate more time outside of school into the production of their movies. “Big Daddy Kane vs. Jimmy the Kid,” “Head Bandits” and “The Lucy Show” were the three comedies created outside of class.

“The three sophomore films all exceeded expectations, and I am excited to see what they will create over the next two years,” Connolly said. “This was an extremely talented senior class, and they not only delivered the goods with their own movies, but they helped pass on their knowledge to the sophomores and juniors.”

As for the future, the Film Festival will continue to produce student-made movies and provide generations of students with unique experiences, friendships and memories.

“It was my last festival, [and] I really tried to make the most of my last one and take the time to appreciate all the things that I love about film,” Straccia said. “I will really miss it.”