The 27th Annual Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films has announced the winners. Reality TV star and rapper Vanilla Ice and Oscar-nominated director Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures) were among the celebrity presenters, along with several local television personalities. Frank Licari, an Emmy-nominated host, a Telly and Addy award-winning writer, producer, actor, and star of South Florida PBS's On the Town in The Palm Beaches hosted the live show.
"This year, the Student Showcase of Films received hundreds of submissions from nearly 50 different schools across Florida," said Michelle Hillery, Palm Beach County's Deputy Film Commissioner and Executive Producer of the Student Showcase of Films. "Our judging panel of 50 industry professionals had a tough assignment choosing the finalists, and to be back doing our show live after two years of virtual shows was incredibly rewarding!"
The awards were presented at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and this was the first time since 2019 that it was in person.
More than $20,000 in scholarship money, along with customized signature trophies, were awarded.
The winners of the 27th Annual Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films are:
Commercial/PSA Award ($750)
Thomas Pozo, Christopher Columbus High School (Miami) - "Be Kind to Your Mind"
Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful Inc. Environmental PSA Award ($1,000)
Christopher Andre Otto, Key West High School (Key West) - "Polaroid"
Donald E. Ross Educational PSA Award ($1,000)
Madeline Acosta, Nicholas Dawsey and Saron Bahre, Paxon School for Advanced Studies (Jacksonville) - "Educational Conscience"
Nellie & Fred Chasin Screenwriting Award ($500)
Ayden Kostzer, West Broward High School (Pembroke Pines) - "The Confessional"
Vanilla Ice Music Video Award ($1,000)
Isabella Chiappini, Alex Duque, and Luis Rodriguez, Cypress Bay High School (Weston), "While We're Young"
Animation Award ($1,000)
Marika Tamura, Ringling College of Art & Design, (Sarasota) - "Final Deathination"
Suzanne Niedland Documentary Award ($1,000)
Steven Nye, University of Tampa (Tampa) - "American Air Boss"
Burt Reynolds Scholarship ($5,000)
Burt Reynolds Scholarship Winner – Marcelo Puccini, G-Star School of the Arts, (Palm Springs)
Sara Fuller Scholarship ($1,000) – Joseph White, American Heritage, (Delray Beach)
High School Feature/Short Awards
1st Place – Julen Herrerias, Christopher Columbus High School (Miami – "The Pink Wallet" ($1,500)
2nd Place – Andrew Cheyne, Harrison School for the Arts (Lakeland) – "Madaptation" ($1,000)
3rd Place – Connor Wright, Harrison School for the Arts (Lakeland) – "A Learning Experience" ($750)
College Feature/Short Awards
1st Place – Domenicca Isabella Botero, Miami Dade College (Miami) – "Silver Waters" ($2,000)
2nd Place – Megan Baer, Florida State University (Tallahassee) – "How to Dance with Monsters" ($1,500)
3rd Place – Abiesel Aleed Báez and Corey Marr, University of Central Florida, (Orlando) – "¡OLLE!" ($1,250)
Special Recognition Awards
Best Director – Shreya Devarakonda and Daniela Portilla, Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota) – "By The Book"
Best Editing – Steven Nye, University of Tampa (Tampa) – "American Air Boss"
Best Production Design – Andrew Cheyne, Harrison School for the Arts (Lakeland) – "Madaptation"
Best Special Effects – Alexander Tullo, Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota) – "Barking Orders"
Artist’s Choice – Adriana Irmina Marquez (homeschooled) – "The Progress Express"
Poster Design Award ($750)
Lucy Jacques, SouthTech Academy (Boynton Beach)