St. John the Baptist High School challenges student filmmakers to “raise the bar” on filmmaking and go beyond what is technically possible and encourage film production that has meaning and purpose at their First Annual Film Festival, Voices and Visions on Film. The theme of the film festival is to educate, raise awareness and make a positive difference through this medium.
To that end, five film categories invited submissions:
The winners were:
Mini-Documentaries
1St Place- James Callahan & Jeremy Lew (SJB) “Camden, New Jersey”
2nd Place-Gabriella Baldassin (SJB ) “I’m Just Like You”
Short Films
1St Place- Eric Micallef (North Babylon HS) “Watch Your Back”
2nd Place-Taylor Page(Holy Trinity DHS) “Exposed”
Public Service Announcements (PSA)
1St place- Mark Burkhalter (Lindenhurst HS) “Random Act of Kindness”
2nd Place- John Zimmerman (SJB) “Be A Leader”
Music Videos
1St Place- Angela Sementilli (SJB) “The Smile Train”
2nd Place- Jackie Wiswall (SJB) “Breathe Me,”
Animations
1st Place- E.J. Acosta (SJB) “Man’s Best Fiend”
2ndPlace- Alfredo Talavera (SJB) “The World is Awesome”

“It sounds cliché to say that all of the students who entered their films to the festival are winners, but it is true.” said Mrs. Laura Messano, Director of Media Arts at SJB, “The students understand the power of the medium and how, by bringing attention to a topic through filmmaking, they can advocate for positive change. We are very proud of all of them.” St. John’s was thrilled to have two distinguished judges that generously shared their time and expertise: Karen Arikian, Executive Director of the East Hampton Film Festival and Joanne Beattie, veteran producer at the TELECARE Network.
Ms. Nan Doherty, Assistant Principal at St. John the Baptist DHS, congratulated the students at the awards presentation stating, “Kudos to all the talented student directors, writers, actors, editors and producers. You inspire our future!”