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film one fest logoATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Adding some fun to the monotony of sheltering in place, FilmOneFest hosted its first totally virtual 24-Hour Film Slam last week, with a Facebook Live screening on Sunday, April 19.  Filmmakers were given 24 hours to make a one-minute film using a shoe, a bathroom, and the line “Has anyone seen my snack?”

This is the seventh Film Slam event in five years. “For this event, filmmakers were also required to film in the safety of their own homes, and with family members only,” said Corinna Thuss, Director of FilmOneFest. The free event was judged by locals Jon Cowley, Victor Zac and Gary Hilderbrand.

A total of 12 teams from five states competed for bragging rights. Top winners included New Jersey contestants Team Santamaura in 2nd place with “Reflected” and Kids Eating Cereal Productions in 3rd place with “Orion 47.”  Top honors went to Pennsylvania team Pickled Whisperer for their film “2024.”

fof winners all film slam


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 “It has been very positive experience at a time when positivity is in short order!” said Anthony Werhun, 1st prize winner. “FilmOneFest did a great job organizing this event.”

A week-long People’s Choice Contest went to New York Team Wasted Potential for “New Day, New You.”  The taped Film Slam event can be viewed in its entirety on Facebook or FilmOneFest’s YouTube Channel.

The event was the brainchild of Gina Melnyk, volunteer Social Media coordinator. “We had a lot of good feedback, and we hope to do more of this type of event again in the future,” she said.

Thuss noted that the Film Slams hosted at Monmouth University have been evolving into more  virtual events. “Last year’s event was broadcast live on Facebook and with a few technical adjustments we were able to do that for this event, thanks to volunteer Dan Hofman of Hip Digital Video, who edited the final film loop.”

Thuss emphasized that having a live audience in one place is still one of the best features of FilmOneFest events. “We look forward to a time when we can gather again and watch movies together,” she said. “Until, then, we will continue to use technology to be together and celebrate the importance of art—and short films in particular— to lift our spirits and share our stories.”

That includes the annual FilmOneFest Summer celebration held annually in the Atlantic Highlands Marina on the third Saturday of July. “We made the difficult decision to go virtual for our main event this year,” Thuss said. “The Film Slam last weekend was a good test of what that will take for the big July screening online. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to find out more information about the upcoming events.”

FilmOneFest is a project of Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, a registered 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to strengthen community through the arts. For information, visit This program is made possible in part by Monmouth Arts through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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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...