Four student filmmakers honored

Four Ballard High School (BHS, 1418 N.E. 65th St.) student filmmakers won Cinematic Arts awards last December from the National YoungArts Foundation, tying the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) for the most winners from a single school.

Ballard students have won the national award in recent years, but four winners is the highest number ever for the Seattle Public Schools high school, according to Matt Lawrence, the teacher who leads Ballard’s Digital Filmmaking Program.

Ballard’s winning film students are Coleman Andersen, Leo Pfeifer, Sho Schrock-Manabe and Meagen Tajalle. They received cash awards and opportunities to participate in YoungArts programs in Los Angeles, Miami and New York City.

Andersen (’15) achieved the highest-possible YoungArts ranking of Finalist. He had entered his dramatic short “Stolen,” which he produced with Pfeifer during his senior year at BHS. The short has previously won Best Drama prizes at the Chicago International Film Festival’s CineYouth event and the All-American High School Film Festival in New York City. 

It also won National Student Television Awards of Excellence for Short Form Fiction and Writing at the Northwest Emmy Awards last spring. 

Coleman is currently a freshman in the film program at New York University. 

Pfeifer, a senior at BHS, is a YoungArts Merit Winner for his documentary “Clipped Wings” (produced with Andersen and Duncan Gowdy).

This examination of the ban on gays by the Boy Scouts of America has also seen festival success, including an Audience Award at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, First Prize in the Documentary category at the 2015 Dominique Dunne Film Competition and National Student Television Awards of Excellence for Best Long Form Non-fiction and Photographer/Editor at the Northwest Emmy Awards. 

Schrock-Manabe (’15) is a YoungArts Merit Winner for his music video “Hologram” (produced during his senior year at BHS with Miles Andersen, Emily Black, Sophie DeGreen and Jesse Romero). The narrative music video contrasts the challenges of art and life. 

It recently won Best of Show at the Eppfilms & Artistic by Design Center 2015 Film & Photography Showcase in Cleveland. 

Schrock-Manabe is currently a freshman in the Creative Producing program at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.

Meagen Tajalle, also senior at Ballard, is a YoungArts Merit Winner for her documentary “Raven Rock,” produced with Rachel Cole and Jaya Flanary. The film examines a treatment program that pairs survivors of childhood abuse with rescued horses for mutual healing. It has also earned awards at national and regional competitions. 

This is also the 11th consecutive year that Ballard students have been honored by Fresh Film Northwest. Two short films by Ballard students recently won at the competitive regional festival, coordinated by the Northwest Film Center in Portland, Ore. 

It accepts entries from filmmakers ages 13 to 19 in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.