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Pascack Valley Students Among Filmmakers Of Tomorrow

The eight finalists gather at Fort Lee High School for the 2015 Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow festival Saturday, Nov. 7. The winners included Andrew Favorito, Alex Hacopian and Zachary Kaplan of Pascack Valley High School.
The eight finalists gather at Fort Lee High School for the 2015 Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow festival Saturday, Nov. 7. The winners included Andrew Favorito, Alex Hacopian and Zachary Kaplan of Pascack Valley High School. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma

HILLSDALE, N.J. — A trio of Pascack Valley High School students were among the movie makers of tomorrow honored at Fort Lee High School Saturday.

Eight students from Bergen County placed in the 2015 Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow festival, sponsored by the Fort Lee Film Commission. More than 100 high school students submitted short movies, with the committee narrowing it down to those eight.

Andrew Favorito, 16, of Pascack Valley High School, placed third for "The Idea." Classmates Alex Hacopian and Zachary Kaplan also finished in the running.

The judges included Michael Gandolfini, son of "Sopranos" star James Ganolfini. Tom Meyers, executive director of the Fort Lee Film Commission, said "The Sopranos" highlighted the state's iconic scenery.

"What James and ['Sopranos' creator] David Chase did in New Jersey was terrific," Meyers said.

Ganolfini's sister Johanna, presented the first-place prize to Lodi High School junior Urmil Dalal.

Other finalists included Bergenfield High School students Kyle Siringan, Alexander Garcia and Anthony Lorelli, and Alden Etra of Fort Lee High School.

Meyers noted that all eight of the finalists were winners. Nelson Page, executive director of the Fort Lee Film Commission, said he saw tremendous talent in the young directors.

"The submissions this year were better than they've ever been before," Page said.

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