Student Films Make it to the Big Screen

Ever since Will Tarica ’23 can remember, he’s wanted to be a film director.

“Filmmaking has always been a passion of mine,” he shared. “I obsessively watch movies.” Seeing the 2016 Oscar-winning film “Moonlight” solidified his love. “It was the first time I noticed the importance of cinematography.”

When his short film, “Sidetracked,” was chosen as an Official Selection at the prestigious All American High School Film Festival and screened at the AMC Empire 25 Theater in Times Square last weekend, he was overjoyed.

“Seeing the film on the big screen was very surreal, of course, because it has been a dream of mine.”

Tarica’s short and the film, “No Exit (A Huis Clos)” by recent graduate and current NYU film school student Marbod Faure ’22, were chosen out of thousands of high school entries from around the world. Tarica filmed “Sidetracked” for his Intermediate Video class and Faure created “No Exit” for an assignment in Foundations in Video Production.

“The festival was a great opportunity for students to see their work in a real movie theater and to meet other student filmmakers from around the country,” said media arts teacher David Becker.

“‘Sidetracked’ is a film about a friend group (Mir Ahmed ’23, Zach Sherman ’23, and Baird Hruska ’23) who go thrift shopping. One of their friends, played by me, seems to be missing,” Tarica shared. “They contemplate my character's loyalty to the group and if it's even worth going out of their way to search for me.” 

Of Tarica’s work, Becker said, “Will often pushes artistic boundaries of his films, combining experimental approaches and inventive stories. For this project, he used an older video camera that he bought on eBay, a contemporary 4k camera, and wireless microphones to create a layered, artistic film.”

Earlier this year, four of Becker’s film students were honored at the 2022 New York Alliance Film Festival, a showcase that recognizes young filmmakers from independent schools in the New York area. Award winners included: 
  • Giselle Meskin ’23, “The Hot Girl Hotline” (Comedy) Silver Medal
  • Mckarthy Grimes ’24, “Canvas” (Experimental) Bronze Medal
  • Rowan Walter ’22, “A Chicken Tweets” (Mixed Genre) Bronze Medal
  • Ava Dilorenzo ’22, “Aires” (Comedy) Bronze Medal
Meanwhile, Becker is excited to keep the momentum this year. “We hit the ground running and have already produced some great short films. With a couple of new cameras in the Media Lab, our production values continue to increase. We'll have a lot of films to show at the Masters Film Festival in May!”

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