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film young fest 1PHOTO: Raymond Jannuzzi, Dominick Sena and Lucas Lovallo were FilmYoungFest Audience Choice Award winners. Photo credit – Carolyn Barber of Butterfly Studio.

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – There was excitement in the air as the young filmmakers, their parents and friends gathered at the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council Gallery for a social gathering prior to the screening of FilmYoungFest. FilmYoungFest is the student filmmaker portion of FilmOneFest, the international one-minute film festival held in the Atlantic Highlands Marina the 3rd weekend in July.

FilmOneFest, approaching its 10th anniversary, gets submissions from around the world and this year, the festival received over 127 student films vying for a chance to be screened on the big screen at the festival. FilmOneFest received over 403 submissions from as far reaching countries as Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Poland, Kazakhstan, China, France and Qatar. Forty-three films were selected for the festival in July.

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PHOTO:  Audience at Atlantic Cinemas, Atlantic Highlands, NJ.  

Twenty-two lucky young filmmakers were selected for a private screening on Sunday, October 15th at Atlantic Cinemas in Atlantic Highlands. The students, family and friends sat in their own private cinema and watched their films on the giant screen. Each attendee was able to vote on their favorite film, which would award the Audience Choice Award to the movie with the most votes along with a $50 gift certificate.

This year’s Audience Choice award winners were a team of 11 year olds from Shrewsbury, NJ. Lucas Lovallo, Raymond Jannuzzi and Dominick Sena. Their last minute submission wowed the crowd with their movie Swamp Monster Attack. The audience also enjoyed viewing this year’s FilmOneFest Judges Choice Award “Ursa Major” by Kerrin Keiser from Monmouth Beach as well as “The Light We See (in the Dark) by Carly Drabeck from Oceanport and “Junk Food” by Rodrigo Canet from Toledo Spain.

film young fest 2PHOTO: FilmYoungFest Audience Choice Award winners – Lucas Lovallo on the left, middle is Raymond Jannuzzi and Dominick Sena from Shrewsbury, NJ. Photo credit – Carolyn Barber of Butterfly Studio.

The young filmmakers chatted with Robert O’Connor, Founder and Artistic Director for the festival, “they asked inquisitively how I started the festival and different film techniques. It is so great to see so many young film makers participating and keeping the art of film making alive”.

FilmOnFest is a project of the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The mission of the Arts Council is to strengthen community through the arts. For more information, go to
This program is made possible by the support of our media sponsors Wells Fargo, Whole Foods, PepsiCo, Investors Foundation and in part by Monmouth Arts through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and The New Jersey State Council on the Arts. FilmOneFest is also grateful for the continued support of Tom Bernard and Sony Pictures Classics and Mickey and Fred Rast owners of Atlantic Cimenas.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...