Arts & Entertainment

Léman Film Festival 2024: A Recap in Pictures

By Samia Perez

The 2024 Léman Film FestivalLeman Fine Arts
Ms. Nowicki and Ms. Han at the film festival.
Ms. Nowicki and Ms. Han at the film festival.The Leman Communications Team
Dr. L celebrating the film festival.
Dr. L celebrating the film festival. Samia Perez
The Léman Film Festival celebrated its 8th anniversary this past January. The festival featured a variety of films ranging in genre from horror to slice of life. These films were made by Léman high school students no matter if they are film students or not. This year, the filmmakers had from Friday, January 12th to Monday, January 15th at 8:30 am to conceptualize, write, cast, film, produce, direct, edit, and make music for their three-minute original film. The original films had to follow a set criteria which consisted of a theme, a prop, a setting, and a line of dialogue that had to be heard. The Léman Film Festival took place on January 31st, 2024 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Morris Street Theater.
Requirements The Leman Communications Team
The five required elements for each three-minute film are a part of the final film festival.
The films were judged by professional filmmakers in the industry on the criteria above. The professional filmmakers, announced by Ms. Han, consisted of Cheryl Beadling, Randall Dottin, Maren Lavelle, Kurt Leitner, and Jeff Santoro.
Judge Cheryl Beadling
Judge Cheryl BeadlingSamia Perez
Ms. Han presented the judges on stage, highlighting each judge one at a time. At this moment, she was talking about Cheryl Beadling.
The awards that were presented at the festival.
The awards that were presented at the festival.The Leman Communications Team
After Ms. Han presented the judges and explained the awards, all sixteen films were displayed and then awards were presented. The awards, ten total, nominated three films, and one film out of the three won the award.
The Choice
The ChoiceSamia Perez
The note that was left after the protagonist died. It reads: “Would you rather take the life of another or your own? Make the choice or I’ll make it for you. Time is ticking!” 
A bathtub filled with hand prints of blood.
A bathtub filled with hand prints of blood.Samia Perez
The nominees for Best Picture were Shadows, Shattered, and The Choice. The winner, The Choice, is a horror film starring Valeska Damon and Paloma Alonso. Directed and written by Lev Feldsher, who also edited the film, and Gianna Galluzzi. With help from Gaby Petersen, the key grip, and Esther Feldsher, who was a production assistant.  The film asks the question “Would you rather take the life of another or your own?” and puts the protagonist in a time crunch in hopes of surviving past midnight.
The Special Jury Prize was awarded to films that judges wanted to recognize as brave filmmakers for filming in public and somehow did not get arrested.
The Keys follows a journey around lower Manhattan, to the Oculus and back near Léman with the mission of finding missing keys to get to a birthday party. The film stars Elizabeth Volpert and Maddox Rozinski. Elizabeth Volpert who edited and wrote alongside Hana Rroji, who worked with Zizi Omar on cinematography.
Charley Geddess
Charley GeddessSamia Perez
Charley Geddess in the abandoned facility recording herself while Samuel Cohen lingers in the darkness behind her
The second film awarded, The Final Hours, a film that follows a content creator who spends six hours in an abandoned facility. The film, starring Charley Geddess and Samuel Cohen, was directed, edited, and sound design by Isabel Kalbacher. The cinematography was done by Isabel Kalbacher and Lev Feldsher who also operated a drone for the film.
Freya Malala
Freya MalalaSamia Perez
Freya Malala sitting on her bed reloading her email 
The Best Concept award is given to films with an outstanding concept, of which the nominees were Another Time, Passage of Stars and Let Me Know. The winning film, Let Me Know, a film starring Freya Malala, who wrote and designed the cinematography. The film was directed, edited, and sound-designed by Flippa Lombana.
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx ZooSamia Perez
Wolfgang Smith observing the scenery at the Bronx Zoo 
The Best Writing award is given to films with…, of which the nominees were Shadows, Shattered, and Running Out of Time. The winning film, Running Out of Time, follows the story of…. The film, starring Wolfgang Smith, who wrote, directed, performed, and wrote the script with the help of Zoe Riley who was also the cinematographer. The film was produced with the assistance of editor Renata Bellzia, and sound designer Maya Beshir-Renard.
Rayelle McHayle in Time
The nominees for Best Performance, with excellent acting from their actors, were Aggravating & Pretentious, The Keys, and Time. The winner of Best Performance, Time, discusses… Time stars Orwayn Gomes and Rayelle McHayle. McHayle, who also directed and assisted cinematographer and editor, Kareem McLeod. Along with Luke Hawkins as a sound engineer.
Echoes of the Clock
Echoes of the ClockSamia Perez
Tamara Nishnianidze, Valeriya Orlova, and Megan Cheng in Echoes of the Clock 
The nominees for Best Editor, Let Me Know, Shadows, and Echoes of the Clock. The Echoes of the Clock, is a film starring Valeriya Orlova, Tamara Nishnianidze, and Megan Cheng. Orlova, who directed, wrote, and with assistance from Peter Wu, edited the film. Nishnianidze composed music and Wu focused on cinematography.
Sofia Ann Zullo in Shadows 
The Best Cinematographer nominees were The Regrets of Time, The Final Hours, and Shadows. The winner of the award, Shadows, starring Sofia Anna Zullo, Rafaek Sieber, Fernanda Sieber, Fiebe Standaert, and Kalista Kingue. The film was directed by Fiebe Standaert, who also wrote and designed sound. Fernanda Sieber focused on directing photography, editing the film, creating concepts, and assisting Fiebe Standaert in designing sound.
Valeska Damon is unaware of Paloma Alonso behind her
Valeska Damon is unaware of Paloma Alonso behind herSamia Perez
The Best Director nominees were Do You Want A Burger?, The Final Hours, and the winning film, The Choice.
Michael Shiblio
Michael ShiblioSamia Perez
The nominees for Best Sound, Another Time, Echoes of the Clock, and Decade Drift. The winner of the film, Decade Drift, starring Michael Shiblio as the protagonist and Sali Shiblio as DJ Lancelot. The film itself, which was written, directed, edited, sound designed, and cinematography was controlled by Gigi Shiblio.
Hudson Scher and Elsa LoPresti in Shattered 
The nominees for Best Score, Echoes of the Clock, The Choice, and Shattered. Shattered, is a film starring Elsa LoPresti and Hudson Scher. The film itself was directed and written by Michael Douglas while music was designed, the film was edited, and cinematographed by Lucas Paulino.
Overall, the Léman Film Festival was an outstanding and inspiring event that highlighted films of different genres, from heartbreak to moving on from friendships to family to horrors from Léman High School students. I can’t wait to see what films are produced next year!