[quote_center]Dean Parker, former Loveland Magazine Video Editor and Sam Smith current Loveland Magazine Reporter, Videographer, and Photographer honored at New York Film festival[/quote_center]

New York City, The All American High School Film Festival is the world’s largest teen film festival. With close to 2,000 submissions and 500 accepted films. It showcases the best high school films from around the world. For the fourth consecutive year, All American was hosted in the Times Square AMC– the busiest theater in the country. The festival was founded by CNN/MTV/HBO filmmaker, Andrew Jenks.

2016 Loveland High School graduate, Dean Parker attended the festival last year for his film No Love in Loveland. This year, Parker’s films, Regret and Images, were selected to show in the AMC along with Loveland High School Junior, Sam Smith’s film, STRING. Smith was also the cinematographer on Match, directed by Seven Hills student, Seth Friedman. Jon Parker played Eric, the protagonist, in Images. Stone Taul was the location recordist for Images and Regret, along with playing Eric’s friend in Dean Parker’s Images.

Sam Smith, Jon Parker, Dean Parker, and Stone Taul founded Loveland Film Club, and have collaborated on a variety of projects. They all traveled to the Big Apple October 7 through 9 to attend the festival.

 

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Stone Taul, Sam Smith, founder Andrew Jenks, Dean Parker, co-founder Tom Oliva, Jon Parker

 

Dean Parker was nominated for best drama, best overall, and won best editing. Sam Smith was nominated for best cinematography for his work on Images.

Notes from Jon Parker:  

New York has made a major impact on me in the short amount of time I visited there. The people and the vastness of the city really spoke to me and I hope to further my education in New York in the near future. The [quote_left]It was incredible to see both films up on the big screen and a little difficult to see myself act in front of a large crowd of people in the theater.[/quote_left]city always has something going on and really was so inspiring to me. I was in the city for the All American High School Film Festival to see two films I took part in. It was incredible to see both films up on the big screen and a little difficult to see myself act in front of a large crowd of people in the theater. During the festival, there were many great workshops and speakers talking about filmmaking and futures in the field. Outside of the festival exploring New York was incredible, from getting lost in the subway to walking all over to neat shops, it was such a great time. The award show for the festival was in Flatbush Brooklyn in the beautiful Kings Theatre. The theater is very large and holds an elaborate decor that really set me in awe. The city really stayed with me and left an incredible impact on me. New York is such an inspiring place and I hope to move there next year for school.

 

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Long exposure of Chinatown on the bus traveling to Kings Theater – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Times Square subway station – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Times Square subway station – photo by Sam Smith © 2016
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Walk – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

Notes from Sam Smith:

New York City is my favorite place in the world– it was incredibly exciting not only to be accepted, but to travel there with friends. The festival featured some incredibly talented filmmakers that reminded me that our group of filmmakers are very much a big fish in a small pond. It was flattering to have been director of [quote_right]It was flattering to have been director of photography on four out of five films from Cincinnati[/quote_right]photography on four out of five films from Cincinnati in the festival, and it was really neat to see my collaborations on the big screen, along with my own film. I was surprised and impressed by the weight of the topics many of the filmmakers attacked. I was again reminded that story is king, and that a good story will outshadow most technical flaws.[quote_left]I was again reminded that story is king, and that a good story will outshadow most technical flaws.[/quote_left]

It was a lot of fun to explore New York with a camera and friends. People are used to being photographed there, making street photography much more accessible.  However, my favorite part of the festival was the closing event at Kings Theater. Built in 1927, and abandoned from the 70’s until renovated in 2014, it is an incredibly ornate theater. It is one of the most beautiful structures I have ever been in. We found our way upstairs and explored the balcony and upper floors; the artistic detail of the structure was stunning. It was amazing to have my work shown at the awards ceremony and felt great to be one of the seven nominees for best cinematography out of the thousands of submissions from around the world.[quote_right]It was amazing to have my work shown at the awards ceremony and felt great to be one of the seven nominees for best cinematography out of the thousands of submissions from around the world.[/quote_right]

I met a ton of interesting and passionate artists at the festival. I pushed my street photography and had a great time exploring such a cultural city. When surrounded by so many people, it becomes hard to imagine that each of the people we passed on the street and on the sidewalk, or sat across from on the subway are unique people. There were so many amazing films at the festival, and I’m feeling more inspired than ever.

 

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A man in Manhattan – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Food vendor – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Times Square – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

Notes from Stone Taul:

New York is a place you don’t forget once you go and visit. It’s one of my favorite places I’ve been to in my lifetime. I just love the people there, the city, and the experiences. This was my first time to New York and i already want to go back again. The reason I went to New York in the first place was because of the[quote_right]It was very surreal to see something you and many others worked on for days, and for it to finally pay of and on a huge movie screen. [/quote_right]All American High School Film Festival. I was there to see the two films I did audio for and acted in. It was very surreal to see something you and many others worked on for days, and for it to finally pay of and on a huge movie screen. It’’s a very cool experience. The highlight of the whole thing, though, was that all of this took place in New York City at the Times Square AMC movie theater. I got to meet so many other talented filmmakers at the festival which was very eye opening, because they were all so talented and unique. It really inspired me. I went to so many amazing places in New York, and never had a dull moment. The subway, Times Square, AMC– really any street you go down in New York will be awesome. Overall, my whole trip to New York really inspired me and showed me how much talent my generation has as creators and as filmmakers and as people out in general,  it made me excited for what the future holds for the years to come.

 

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NYC from above – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Outside the Columbia University campus – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Jon Parker and Stone Taul at the awards ceremony – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

Notes from Dean Parker:

I was so excited getting into the festival this year, especially since I had two films that got in. That was so cool and I felt honored.

[quote_right]Three nominations (best cinematography, best drama, best overall film) and winning best editing.[/quote_right]Getting those three nominations (best cinematography, best drama, best overall film) and winning best editing did a couple of things for me. For one thing, it showed that all our hard work paid off. I’m so proud and thankful to everyone involved. Getting those nominations really showed how we were all able to work together and that was really neat. On a personal level, it made me feel inspired. One big thing I learned from the weekend is that you are your own worst critic. On the plane ride to the festival I was having doubts. I started to think that maybe my films didn’t mean anything or that no one understood my work and how much effort was put into the films. But this weekend restored my passion. It meant a lot to get nominations and win like that. It showed me that I’m getting somewhere in the film world. That my ideas and messages mean something to people and that’s what I try to do for every film I make. The founders of the festival even recognized us and were really excited to meet us. That was really cool and it was cool to hear them talk about our film and congratulate us.

I think the best part of the festival (and this goes for any film festival) was meeting and networking with the other filmmakers. These are really talented kids with incredible ideas and powerful stories. It’s so cool.

 

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Festival founder Andrew Jenks and filmmaker Dean Parker – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Kings Theater – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Kings Theater – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Kings Theater – photo by Sam Smith © 2016

 

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Festival Winners

Films:

STRING from Sam Smith

Regret from Dean Parker

Images from Dean Parker

 



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Sam Smith works at Loveland Magazine as a writer, photographer, and videographer. He is a filmmaker, animator, cinematographer, and photographer studying in Film/TV at New York University Tisch School of The Arts. Smith graduated from Loveland High School in 2018. His photo/journalistic book Abandoned Cincinnati is slated for publication this fall.

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