“Sci High” students take home the Grand Prize at Film Prize Junior 2019

New Orleans Charter Science and Math “Sci High” students take home the Grand Prize at Film Prize Junior 2019 for LIKE A SHIP WITHOUT A SAIL 
In front of a packed audience, Film Prize Junior crowned LIKE A SHIP WITHOUT A SAIL this year’s grand prize winner. Directed by Da’Jana Florent, and featuring students from New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School, the film was a favorite with audiences and judges alike.

“It was a lot of hard work with a great team, but coming to Film Prize Junior was amazing,” said Florent. “This was an extremely tough competition and we are proud to take home the trophy.”

The winner was decided by a combination of audience vote and a decision by the judges panel, made up of Louisiana Film Prize finalists and former Film Prize Junior staff. The grand prize is a digital media grant of $5,000 cash (awarded to the winner’s school), $1,000 in cash for a school celebration of the winners’ achievement, as well as a $1,000 cash reward for E’Jaaz Mason, the teacher who mentored the winning filmmakers.

“Being able to work with these teachers and students has been amazing,” said Dillon Procell, the Film Prize Junior Student/Teacher Liaison. “This year’s films really blew me away!”

This year’s Film Prize Junior broke the previous year’s record, with a total of twenty-three films submitted from twenty-one schools. The Prize Foundation also announced its first Shreveport Green/Film Prize Junior award. Seventeen short public service announcements were created for a “Don’t Litter” campaign. Two winners were selected, one based on YouTube popularity and one awarded by the panel of judges. NATURE IS VENGEFUL, created by Tyler Bynog at Captain Shreve High School, won the online vote while Marsh McLaurin at Caddo Magnet High School took home the judges’ prize.

“This was a banner year for Film Prize Junior,” said Gregory Kallenberg, Executive Director of the Prize Foundation. “We have never seen so much energy and spirit put into the work. Watching these filmmakers work so hard and produce such great work is inspirational.”

In addition to the Best Film and Shreveport Green Awards, The Inns of Court awarded the “Freedom of Speech Award” of a $1,000 scholarship to “Like a Ship without a Sail”. The Prize Foundation also honored three projects with Founders Circle Grants and two students with Best Actor and Best Actress prizes. The winners of the Founders Circle Grants will be eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement for expenses incurred in creating projects for Film Prize Jr. in 2020. The winners are UNKNOWN from Southwood High School, NEXT MOVE from Airline High school, and PERFECT from Loyola College Prep. The Best Actor award was a tie, given to Lawrence Kagler (LIKE A SHIP WITHOUT A SAIL) and Jack Walker (I’M FINE), while Best Actress was awarded to Cecilia Sharder (PERFECT).

Film Prize Junior is the high school version of the Film Prize Foundation’s flagship festival, Louisiana Film Prize. The competition is open to high school age students age 14-18 across the state. It was created by Tobias Kallenberg, son of Film Prize creator Gregory Kallenberg, and aims to incentivize students to become engaged in the storytelling process, increase their media literacy, and provide soft skills needed to engage in a collaborative, multidisciplinary art form of filmmaking and entrepreneurial ingenuity.

PHOTO: New Orleans Charter Science and Math Grand Prize winning students (l-r): Omar Gallardo, EmilyBarnard, Shane Brown, Cameron Magee, Da’Jana Florent and Sci High teacher/mentor Ejaaz Mason.

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