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Long Islanders enjoy original student cinema at the Long Island High School for the Arts Film Festival

lihsa students  
The talented students whose work was featured this summer at the Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts Film Festival are congratulated by Filmmaking Instructor Anthony Petrucci (standing, right). They are (seated, from left) Allison Davidoff (Plainview-Old Bethpage CSD), Emily Schaubeck (Garden City UFSD), Matthew Tierney (Half Hollow Hills CSD) and Aleeza DeAlto (Lynbrook UFSD); (standing, from left) Casey Paust (Massapequa UFSD), Charles Compono (Locust Valley CSD) and Josh Levenstein (Roslyn UFSD).

This summer, the student filmmakers of Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA) showcased their talents at the annual LIHSA Film Festival. The event featured seven original student films from a variety of genres, all of which were shot on-site at the LIHSA campus.

Two films took center stage that night. “Girl Mask,” written and directed by senior Aleeza DeAlto (Lynbrook UFSD is a drama that follows the quest of a transitioning teen struggling to discover her true identity. “Rejected,” written and directed by senior Matthew Tierney (Half Hollow Hills CSD), is a dramatic comedy about a student who must cope with the harsh truth of being turned down by all of her first-choice colleges.

In creating their works, the LIHSA student filmmakers had to follow rigorous industry standards and were responsible for completing every step of the process, from production planning to editing and formatting the final product for screening. The night ended with a Q&A session, in which the filmmakers fielded audience questions.

“Our filmmakers each wrote their pieces using their specific artistic voices,” LIHSA Filmmaking Instructor Anthony Petrucci said of the festival. “They cast their cinematic roles using the fine actors of the LIHSA theater department. Filmmakers then production-planned, directed and shot their footage on campus, and finally edited and formatted their movies for screening. The festival is a genuine look at what our students are accomplishing.”