A Franklin Square teenager with an eye for filmmaking was the youngest person to take home an award at the Queens World Film Festival in March.
Ralph Sepe, a senior at H. Frank Carey High School, won the Emerging Filmmaker Award for "The High," his 37-minute short film about a teen who becomes a drug dealer. It has received about 11,000 views on Sepe's YouTube channel.
Sepe said he made the movie for $50 and cast several friends and family members. He played the film's lead role.
"To me, this was like winning an Oscar," said Sepe, 17, who admires directors Stanley Kubrick and David Fincher. Of his passion for filmmaking, he said: "It's like therapy for me. Whatever I'm thinking and feeling, I can express myself."
To create "The High," Sepe used a 5-year-old camcorder, an iPhone and Final Cut software that was given to him by his social studies teacher in the eighth grade.
He estimates that he has created 100 movies since the age of 5. He is making a new film titled "Lover," a thriller and love story, using Kickstarter.com.
Sepe is a member of his school's video, photo and film clubs. After graduation, he plans to go to Temple University this fall to study film.