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Dobbs Ferry Student Wins First At Future Filmmakers

From left, Laura deBuys, Thomas Newman, Beth Manspeizer Photo Credit: Contributed
Aspiring Westchester students showcased their films at the Picture House in Pelham in April. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIVERTOWNS, N.Y. – Thomas Newman of Dobbs Ferry took first place at the 2014 Future Filmmaker Festival in Pelham.

Newman’s film “Change” chronicles the exploits of a homeless man while delivering a message about inequalities found in society.

"The festival is great because it gives student filmmakers the chance to be recognized for their hard work,” said Newman. “All the films were fantastic. … It was truly a rich experience and it was nice to win the Chester in the end.”

Aspiring Westchester students were able to showcase their films at the historic Picture House in Pelham in late April.

Three films won ‘Chesters’ – Westchester’s version of the Oscar – for their excellence in filmmaking. A fourth received a Chester for technical excellence.

In addition to Newman’s award, second place was given to Mamaroneck High student to Zach Nagin for his documentary titled “Dos Caminos,” about the inner workings of the dual-language program at his high school. Briarcliff High School student Samantha Simpson took third place for her film “The Taker: Behind the Scenes,” a look into the challenges of being a documentary filmmaker.

Mark Catolano from Eastchester High School was honored for technical excellence for his film “The Suitcase,” whose graphics highlighted the journey of a mysterious suitcase.

The event is supported by The Executive Office of Westchester County and is a collaboration of The Picture House, running since 1921, and The Matthew S. Hisiger Film Foundation, formed by the Hisiger family in honor of Matthew Hisiger, who died in a car accident in 1999 and who had dreams of becoming a filmmaker.

For more information about entering next year’s event, visit or contact Dale Hisiger at .

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