BHS film student wins honors from National Youngarts Foundation

Skala Leake, a junior in Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program, has been awarded an Honorable Mention in Cinematic Arts by the National YoungArts Foundation for her short film Comeback.

The award was given in recognition of the “exceptional artistic achievement” evident in her work.  Honorable Mention is the second tier of honors awarded by YoungArts, above the Merit Award and second only to their top prize.

The YoungArts program identifies and supports young talent in the areas of music, theater, visual arts, photography, writing, and cinematic arts.  Skala’s work was selected for honors from thousands of submissions through a blind adjudication process by a nationally and internationally renowned panel of judges, master teachers, and artists.

Skala pitched Comeback to her filmmaking class last winter.  It was selected for production, and she worked with classmates Avery Davis, Cameron Miller, and Aaron Miller to realize her story of a promising soccer player facing a life-altering setback.

Since premiering at the Ballard Film Festival last June, Comeback, had its national premiere at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City in early October, and was screened at the Portland Art Museum on November 12 as a winner in Fresh Film Northwest – a festival that receives competition from 5 Northwest states as well as the province of British Columbia.

Comeback can now be seen online at

Click here to learn more about the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program.

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