BHS filmmakers take home top award at national festival

Ballard High School filmmakers Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer took home the prize for Best Drama for their film Stolen at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City on October 11.

Pfeifer and Anderson co-produced the film at BHS last fall. Pfeifer, a 4th year student in the Digital Filmmaking Program who plans to study film in college, travelled to New York to attend the festival. Anderson, who graduated from BHS in ’15, is now a freshman studying film at New York University.


Stolen not only won the Best Drama award but was also a finalist for Best Screenplay and Best Overall Film. Another BHS film, Clipped Wings – also by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, with Duncan Gowdy – was a Finalist for Best Directing, Best Documentary, and Best Overall Film. Air Pressure (again by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, with Josh Vredevoogd) was also an Official Selection of the festival.

The films were judged by a jury of filmmaking professionals and actors including screenwriter Diablo Cody, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and actors Kristen Stewart and Dylan McDermott.

The BHS films explored important social topics and told interesting stories. Stolen questions the cost of revenge. Clipped Wings explores the story of those affected by the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members.  Air Pressure examines the aftermath of a disaster at the Balloon Animal World Championships.

The films are now available for viewing online.

Still image from film Stolen courtesy of Ballard High School Digital Film Program.

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