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Easthchester High's Cheyenne Gherardi Wins Top Young Filmmakers Prize

Future Filmmakers Festival winners pose with their awards in front of The Picture House in Pelham. From left, Brian O'Neill, Kyle Mcintyre, Cheyenne Gherardi, Catherine Sullivan, Kevin Wingertzahn, Bobby Martin, and Anne Beyer-Chafets.
Future Filmmakers Festival winners pose with their awards in front of The Picture House in Pelham. From left, Brian O'Neill, Kyle Mcintyre, Cheyenne Gherardi, Catherine Sullivan, Kevin Wingertzahn, Bobby Martin, and Anne Beyer-Chafets. Photo Credit: Provided

PELHAM, N.Y. -- Aspiring filmmakers got their chance to shine recently at the 2015 Future Filmmakers Festival at The Picture House in Pelham.

Showing off their writing, filmmaking and cinematography skills, the young participants produced short films in a number of genres, including: narrative, documentary, comedy, drama, and musical. The 10-minute films revealed diverse tales of struggles and triumphs -- both emotional and physical.

The festival was sponsored by the not-for-profit organization, Matthew S. Hisiger Film Foundation, which singled out seven students for “Chesters,” Westchester County’s version of the Oscar.

First place went to Annie Beyer-Chafets (Mamaroneck High School) for her drama “Same Page.” Beyer-Chafets’ film focused on the challenges that a young man faced as his female friend “grows into her femininity.”

Second place went to Cheyenne Gherardi (Eastchester High School) for her documentary “My Dyslexia Story,” which sheds light on her personal experience with the learning disability.

Third place for comedy was shared by four Eastchester High School students: Bobby Martin, Kevin Wingertzahn, Kyle Mcintyre, and Brian O’Neil. Their film featured what one boy went through -- becoming the ultimate super hero -- in order to save his kidnapped family.

Fourth place went to Catherine Sullivan (Bronxville High School) for her documentary “My Version of Normal,” which dealt with the daily challenges faced by a teenager living with cerebral palsy.

Beyer-Chafets, who grew up in Pelham, said she was both thrilled and humbled to see her work up on the “big screen” at the Pelham Picture House.

Beyer-Chafets said it was her first film festival and she “enjoyed seeing the vast assortment of work that my talented peers around the county are creating.”

“Winning first place completely blew my mind,” she said, adding that she was happy that “the audience was able to get something meaningful and special out of my story.”

“So many wonderful people came together to bring ‘Same Page’ to life and I could not be more pleased and grateful for the way it turned out,” Beyer-Chafets said.

For information on applying for next year’s festival, visit www.mshff.org, or contact Dale Hisiger at dale.hisiger@gmail.com.

The Picture House is at 175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, N.Y. For more information, call (914)-738-3161, email info@thepicturehouse.org or go to www.thepicturehouse.org , .

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