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Our LIKE US Movie Wins At GDIFF (2019)

Our LIKE US Movie Wins At GDIFF (2019)
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Copyright © THISLEARNING®. You are welcome to share unaltered and uncropped under our Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives 4.0 International License with credit attribution required – tag on social media as @THISLEARNING or as THISLEARNING® elsewhere. Full sharing guidelines available here or contact us for other uses.

WE DID IT!!

Absolutely beyond proud of our team of students, creators, and supporters for their accomplishments at the 2019 Golden Door International Film Festival (GDIFF) of Jersey City: 

  1. WINNER BEST LOCAL FILM – LIKE US
  2. WINNER BEST DIRECTOR OF A SHORT FILM – Kris Van Nest (LIKE US)
  3. NOMINATED BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A SHORT FILM – Sofia Santomauro (LIKE US)
  4. NOMINATED BEST FILM THAT RAISES AWARENESS – LIKE US
  5. NOMINATED NEW JERSEY FILMMAKERS OF TOMORROW – LIKE US

CONGRATS ALL!

We also made history for having the largest audience of any screening at the festival, with more than 700 attendees at our premiere.

We couldn't have done it without your support, a ton of creativity, and tireless energy from an awesome team including Kim Correro and Ann Wallace – your dedication made it possible and truly an honor to work with you.

Articles and links:

  • 'Like Us’ film created by Jersey City students claims two Golden Door awards (link)
  • Photo Gallery from the 2019 Golden Door International Film Festival (GDIFF) (link)

Our next goal is to build upon our work to create LIKE US Academy to teach film-creation with messages of acceptance and anti-bullying in Jersey City and schools around the country in an effort to help as many students, families, and administrators as possible.

Photo (Stage): Parambir Mudhar; Photo (Cake): Kim Correro / FSA Performing Arts Program

Official Press Release

Directed by Kris Van Nest | Official Trailer

‘LIKE US’ Wins Multiple Awards & Nominations At The
2019 Golden Door International Film Festival

Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, Jersey City, NJ
September 21st, 2019 – 8PM

 

“LIKE US” is an independent film about acceptance, belonging, friendship, and ourselves. The film raises awareness of the nuanced and widespread nature of bullying and serves as a prevention tool to be shared with other schools. 

  

A FILM ABOUT BULLYING AWARENESS AND PREVENTION FOR STUDENTS, SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES 

A STORY OF ACCEPTANCE AND BELONGING

PRESENTED BY THE FAMILY SCHOOL ASSOCIATION OF THE ETHICAL COMMUNITY CHARTER SCHOOL OF JERSEY CITY, NJ

 

Jersey City, NJ - 2019 - The Family School Association (FSA) of The Ethical Community Charter School and the FSA Performing Arts Program, together with THISLEARNING®, is proud to announce that LIKE US, a live action short film (45 minutes), has achieved the following awards at the 2019 Golden Door International Film Festival (GDIFF) in Jersey City, NJ:

 

 

  1. WINNER BEST LOCAL FILM – LIKE US
  2. WINNER BEST DIRECTOR OF A SHORT FILM – Kris Van Nest (LIKE US)
  3. NOMINATED BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A SHORT FILM – Sofia Santomauro (LIKE US)
  4. NOMINATED BEST FILM THAT RAISES AWARENESS – LIKE US
  5. NOMINATED NEW JERSEY FILMMAKERS OF TOMORROW – LIKE US

The Family School Association’s Performing Arts program provided an unprecedented extracurricular movie-making opportunity with professional educator and producer Kris Van Nest during the 2018-19 school year, all at no cost to the 80 students involved. The film raises awareness of the nuanced and widespread nature of bullying, and serves as a prevention tool to be shared with other schools. It also raises awareness for issues of childhood homelessness, gender identity, ovarian cancer, and parental death. LIKE US is made in memory of Tony Award Winner and Theater Hall of Fame Inductee Marin Mazzie, who passed away from ovarian cancer last September. Mazzie was a supporter of arts education and a long time client and friend of the program’s volunteer director, Kim Correro.

LIKE US is a unique project directed by Kris Van Nest, most known for his work in television and corporate videography, as well as teaching of filmmaking and on-camera video classes in Jersey City. With Assistant Director Ann Wallace, Van Nest led students in 6th - 8th grade through a ten-week screenwriting process starting in September 2018. The ten student screenwriters were challenged to tell a story with an ethical dilemma at its center and that included a large cast of students actors. New York casting agent Meghan Rafferty was tasked with helping to build a diverse cast, allowing all interested students in grades 2-8 to join the project while teaching them how to prepare for an on-camera audition. Over the winter, Van Nest taught the participating students to everything they needed to know about rehearsing and film production. Both on and off screen, students learned technical skills, such as how to hold a camera and operate sound and lighting equipment. Equally important, they were taught not to judge themselves or each other during the creative production process. 

LIKE US is Kris Van Nest’s directorial film debut. 

The student screenwriting team includes Arko Arditya, Abigail Wallace Burch, Ariyana Clinton, Tala Issa, Kate Lester, Leo McCartin, Billie Jo Rivero, William Santomauro, Daphne Stifelman, and Stevie Vago, assisted by Kris Van Nest and Ann E. Wallace. 

LIKE US stars nearly 60 student actors, all making their on-camera debut, and introduces Jonah Briggs, Holloway Cunningham, Leo Frohwirth, Billie Jo Rivero and Sofia Santomauro in leading roles. 

LIKE US supporting performances include Michele Sorvino (Inside Hollywood on the Hudson and Director of Golden Door International Film Festival), Meredith Burns (Executive Director of Art House Productions), Award winning Radhika Konda (creator of web series Ammacuhi on TeluguOne), Chase Steele Greye (Brooklyn-based musician, photographer, and life coach), and Sam Pesin (President of The Friends of Liberty State Park). 

LIKE US music by film & television composer and volunteer parent Stephen Ulrich. Song in opening scene: “It’s Hard To Hurt Someone” by Val Emmich. Song in second hallway and stairwell scenes: "Break Your Heart" by Natalie Merchant. Song in final scene and movie trailer: “Take It All To Heart” by Val Emmich. Song in stairwell scene: “Wandering” (Lana’s Song) by Chrissy Roberts. Song in competition scene: “Waterfall” by Chrissy Roberts.

LIKE US is Produced by Kim Correro, Kris Van Nest, Ann E. Wallace. Executive Producers are Family School Association of The Ethical Community Charter School and THISLEARNING®.

LIKE US production spanned over 12 months and was filmed at 6 locations across multiple neighborhoods in Jersey City, NJ.

LIKE US Film Synopsis

The Shooting Star Youth Challenge is coming to town, and Cory, Fatin, Lana, Astrid, and Trevor have each been unable to find a team. When their Principal asks the group of outcasts—each facing bullying and rejection for their nonbinary gender identity, recent loss from cancer, unconventional interests, or other reasons—to work together for the competition, some of the students are not too happy. To make matters worse, as the big day approaches, the team members are shaken by comments made online and in person about them, and they fear they will never be accepted for who they are. Yet together they rebuild their confidence and get ready to compete. However, in a moment of desperation, Lana confides in her teammates about a problem that is a much larger challenge than shooting a basket or nailing a comedy routine. When the C Flats step up to help their new friend, we see that what makes these kids winners are not the skills they bring to Shooting Star but the size of their hearts.

About Director Kris Van Nest 

A professional educator and nationally televised producer and host, Kris Van Nest is Founder, Host, and Executive Producer of the online media network THISLEARNING® (www.thislearning.com), a Jersey City-based creator of on-line media, video / film classes and services to showcase what makes learning awesome. Van Nest previously executive produced, produced, and hosted the weekly adventure-sports television series FREESPORT-TV, and then developed, pitched, hosted, and executive produced the national weekly television series Trekken sponsored by Jeep® and broadcast nationally on the DiSH Network. Van Nest holds a B.A. in Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence and an M.S. in Educational Technology from Lehigh University, with credits towards an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology: Human Cognition and Learning/Intelligent Technologies at Columbia University’s Teachers College, the Production Certificate Program at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU/SPCS), and a Summer Course Certificate in Artificial Neural Networks from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

About Family School Association of The Ethical Community Charter School

The Family School Association (FSA) is a 501(c)(3) organization that brings together teachers, administrators and families of TECCS in support of the school. The FSA is comprised of various committees that fundraise, organize events, coordinate volunteers, and build unity both within the school and our greater community. The goals of the FSA are to support TECCS and let parents/guardians have a great impact on the success of the students’ education. In 2017, the FSA added the FSA Performing Arts Program to supplement arts opportunities and assemblies.  Guest artists have included Nimbus Dance, THISLEARNING Productions, Singing With Molly, Speranza Theater Company, Tony nominated actor Euan Morton, actor John Roberts, actor Clark Middleton and award winning composer Joseph Trapanese. Each year, FSA Performing Arts makes it possible for the 7th grade class to visit the Metropolitan Opera in New York. 

Contacts

Direct:

  • FSA Performing Arts Volunteer Director Kim Correro artsfsa@teccsjc.org
  • FSA Volunteer President Sile Dooley presidentfsa@teccsjc.org
  • THISLEARNING® Director / Executive Producer Kris Van Nest info@thislearning.com

Social Media:

  • #LIKEUSMovie
  • @fsaperfromingarts 
  • @THISLEARNING

Learn About #FilmProduction:

 

THISLEARNING FSA Performing Arts Program LIKE US Academy

 

 

Creative Commons License
Copyright © THISLEARNING®. You are welcome to share unaltered and uncropped under our Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives 4.0 International License with credit attribution required – tag on social media as @THISLEARNING or as THISLEARNING® elsewhere. Full sharing guidelines available here or contact us for other uses.