The New Jersey School Boards Association is pleased to announce the two winning student-produced films this year in the first-ever “New Jersey Hometown Documentary Short” category in both the Garden State Film Festival and the Artists Alike Film Festival.

The “New Jersey Hometown Documentary Short” category was created by NJSBA in conjunction with the Steven Van Zandt Rock and Roll Forever Foundation and encourages young student filmmakers’ creativity while instilling a sense of pride in their own hometown.

The category required New Jersey students to create a short film focusing on some aspect of the students’ hometown, including profiles of interesting people, places or subjects related to the arts.

The winning films were respectively “Barry Rosenzweig,”produced by students at Jackson Township Liberty High School, which won the prize at the Garden State Film Festival, and “Thomas Rutledge,” produced by students at Central Regional High School in Ocean County, which won the prize at the Artists Alike Film Festival.

Both winning films will be showcased at the NJSBA Student Film Showcase at Workshop 2020, as will student-produced entries in other categories.

Garden State Film Festival Winner

NJ Hometown Documentary Short – High School
“Barry Rosenzweig”
Jackson Liberty High School, Jackson
Directors: Amber Buckley, Alivia McGarry

Award: The school district will be awarded $500 from NJSBA and $500 from the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation

Synopsis: Barry Rosenzweig, retired music teacher, advocate of the arts, and dedicated member of the Jackson community, shares his story as a pianist and music teacher, and talks about his life in Jackson and how he gives back to his community.

The film is online here.

Artists Alike Film Festival Winner

NJ Hometown Documentary Short
“Thomas Rutledge”
Central Regional High School, ​Ocean County
Producer: Meghan Bilello

Award: The director was awarded a statue by the festival coordinator, and the school district will be awarded $250 from NJSBA and $250 from the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.

Synopsis: Artist Thomas Rutledge received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the arts in Ocean County. His uplifting story of overcoming life challenges will inspire people to never give up.

The film is online here.

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