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The Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills is putting students in the spotlight again this year and will be showcasing 9 winning films at the 7th Annual Millburn Film Fest.  The Red Carpet Premiere will be on Friday, April 20th, 7:00 p.m. at Millburn High School and is made possible thanks to Academy Award Sponsors The Shannon Aronson Group and New York Film Academy, and Studio Sponsors Jodi Rubenstein & Joanna Parker-Lentz Realty Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, PNC Wealth Management, and Producer Sponsor The Gonnella Team. The community is invited to view short family friendly films Millburn Middle & High school students have created, walk the red carpet, take home a complementary photo, and exit the event to a fanfare.  Tickets are available online at

You will be inspired and amazed by the student films wide range of subject matter from an original music video, a documentary about the Holocaust, the turmoil of getting into college, and an animation showing the strength of women standing together. The superb selection of films chosen this year is thanks to the 2018 judging panel: Michael Klein, David Koh, Laraine Brennan-Barach, Cathy Scorsese, Victoria Plummer, Andrew Permision, Amy McGovern, Judith Kramer, Kathi Hecht, Donna Davis, Orna Greenberg. On the big screen this year will be “Coffee,” “In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust,” “Parallel Lines,” “Procrastination,” “School Girls,” “Swindler,” “The Decision,” “Unburned,” and “Unexpected Gap Year.” The top filmmaker will receive a scholarship to New York Film Academy one-week summer film camp.

In “Coffee” filmmaker Kyle Farscht (junior at Millburn High School) explores relationships and an unexpected twist of fate. Actors Matthew Green (MHS junior) and Tori Sonza (MHS senior) performances enhance this emotional film. Kyle wrote, directed, filmed, color corrected, and edited this intense drama.

The youngest filmmaker this year, Carli Platt (Millburn Middle School 7th grader) takes on the complicated topic of the Holocaust in her film “In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust.” The documentary chronicles the life of Wilhelmina De Kadt, now Willie Juhlin, a victim of the Holocaust. Though she wasn’t placed in a concentration camp, her life was taken in a different way; her parents, her childhood, even her religious identity were taken from her, as a Hidden Child of the Holocaust. Carli wrote, directed, edited & narrated this film and had her brother, Tyler Platt (MHS senior), film the interview for the documentary.

Cynthia Cheng (MHS senior) shows us a misunderstood relationship between an academically strong girl and a boy who needs a tutor for his test. The film “Parallel Lines” shows subtle emotions among teenagers and a reflection of misread intentions. This collaborative mass media project was created by seniors Cynthia Cheng (co-directed & filmed), Jasmine Guan (co-directed, wrote, & lead female actor) Spencer Estes (lead male actor), Lana Ning (co-editor), Nicole Villalba (co-editor), Megan Chien (actor), Vanessa Jiang (actor), Aidan Chalnick (actor), and Terrence Shi (actor).

You don’t want to hesitate to head to the film fest this year or you may miss “Procrastination” a comedy by Daniel Lee (MMS 8th grader). The film starts off with a boy who realizes he hasn’t finished his essay due the next day. We are then sent through his wacky adventure of trying to write an essay. Daniel directed, filmed, edited, acted, wrote & submitted this entertaining satire.

In the documentary “School Girls,” we get a glimpse of the lives of three teens, Monica Taladtad and Jeanelyn & Georgelyn Batoy, who work as household help for a family so they can attend school in Makato, Philippines. Eliza Tagle made the journey to the Philippines where she filmed and interviewed the girls.   A sophomore at MHS, Eliza directed, wrote, filmed and edited this documentary.

“Swindler” is an original song written and sung by Sofia Baran (sophomore at MHS) that showcases the importance of close friendships, and how much light is brought into one’s life through the support of others. Through this candid, intimate insight into a close friendship, discover how pure and healing friendship can be. Sema Madahar (MHS sophomore) directed, filmed, wrote & submitted this heartwarming music video. Sema had singer Sofia Baran as well as classmates Aoife Weiss, (MHS sophomore) Drew Demeterio (MHS sophomore) to act in the film

The college admissions process is stressful for everyone at Millburn High School. “The Decision” tells the story of two students that apply to their dream school and shows how their friendship is tested when their worst nightmare of differing decisions is realized. How much does admission mean, and how far will a student go to get in? Maddy Freeman and fellow seniors created this drama as a mass media project for Ms. Krueger’s class. This all star senior cast includes Maddy Freeman (producer, director, co-writer, co-cinematographer, editor, actor and submitter), Brad Klein (producer, co-writer, co-cinematographer, and actor), Sophie Richman (producer, co-writer, and actor), Jason Wei (producer, co-cinematographer, and actor), Ben Pearl (producer and actor), Ariel Neyman (producer and actor). Millburn High School’s Ms. Krueger and Dr. Keenan are supporting actors in the film.

Throughout history, strong and talented women have been attacked as witches. “Unburned” is the story of a young woman whose ability provokes fear and violence in her community. In her moment of need, she discovers that the support of other women is the only thing that can save her. Sophomore, Alex DeRosa, created this beautiful animated film “Unburned” with her digital artistry. Alex (sophomore MHS) directed, animated, edited, wrote & submitted this film.

“Unexpected Gap Year” is a coming of age film about a high school senior applying to colleges. The film follows Miriam who is trying to find her own path that may not be conventional, compared to her friends, and expectations of her family.  Ariel Riseman (MHS senior) directed, edited, co-wrote, and submitted this film. The star of the film, Miriam Harrow (MHS senior) also co-wrote “Unexpected Gap Year” and shared the screen with actors Emily Fried, Rachel Broder, Vivian Harrow, Alex Harrow, Max Harrow, Sophia Hoodis, Amanda Model, Maanya Tandon, Holly Graziano.

If you can’t make it to the Red Carpet Premiere join us at the daytime encore performance on Thursday, April 26th at 11 a.m. at the Millburn Bow-Tie Cinema.   In addition to the 9 winning films we will be screening two ENCORE EXTRAS – “Wasted Generation” by Kate Parker-Lentz and “Entrée” by Kyle Farscht. See you at the movies!

2018 Trailer –




The Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills is putting students in the spotlight again this year and will be showcasing 9 winning films at the 6th Annual Millburn Film Fest.  The Red Carpet Premiere will be on Friday, April 21th, 7:00 p.m. at Millburn High School and is made possible thanks to our Academy Award Sponsors The Stephanie Mallios Team and New York Film Academy, and Executive Sponsors The Gonnella Team and Investors Bank. The community is invited to view short family friendly films Millburn Middle & High school students have created, walk the red carpet, take home a complementary photo, and exit the event to a fanfare.  Tickets are available online at


On the big screen this year will be “Eclipse,” “Flash,” “Heba’s Story,” “Lyric,” “Poppy,” “Sincerely, A Feminist,” “Soulfege-The A Capella Experience,” “The Fountain Case,” and “Walk- The story of the Iron Grannies.”  The top two filmmakers will each receive a scholarship to New York Film Academy one-week summer film camp.

Catch A sneak peak right here Millburn High School juniors David Chun & Jonny Berkowitz showcase their filmmaking talents in the experimental piece “Eclipse.” Joe Petrilli, also a junior, portraits a man that comes to terms with his loneliness and discovers a new meaning to life when he meets an unlikely friend. They go on a short, but enlightening journey, where the man realizes that there is much to appreciate in life.

In the film “Flash” filmmaker Kyle Farscht, a sophomore, explores the concept of “Do we really just exist in front of the camera these days…?” He enlists the help of sophomores Jess Yeager & Matt Gutkin as actors for this twist of fate film.

Ariel Riseman’s timely documentary, “Heba’s Story,” is a wonderful look into the life of a Syrian refugee living in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Ariel, a junior, just won the SOMA young filmmakers award for best documentary for this film.

“Lyric” is a hand-drawn animated film about a girl’s struggle with depression. The film taps into her mind to show her battle with the monster that torments her. At first it seems as if there is no escape, but she soon finds the strength she needs to face her inner demon through music. Freshman, Alex DeRosa, created this beautiful film “Lyric” with her digital artistry.

Senior, Aaron Surloff, touches your heart with his documentary “Poppy.” This is a short documentary about Max Marell and his experience with the Lung Cancer Association. The documentary highlights his connection to lung cancer, his grandfather’s (Poppy) treatment of lung cancer, and then Max’s work in creating a Millburn branch of the Lung Cancer Association.

Julia Newman documents her experience as a Generation Z teenager. Newman, a senior at MHS, says, “This past election was my first to follow closely and to vote in. In an open letter from young unsettled feminists like myself, this journalistic documentary explores what will come next following the recent Women’s March on Washington and the Presidential Election.”

In the documentary “Soulfege – The A Cappella Experience,” sophomore Kyle Farscht follows the Millburn High School award winning group’s journey on the way to the ICHSA competition (International Championship of High School A Capella). Luke Wroblewski , Music Director & MHS Senior, Jessica Stier, President & MHS Senior, Emma Hetherington, Treasurer & MHS sophomore, Matthew Green, Secretary & MHS sophomore, take us along their Soulfege journey.

Seniors, Brendan Weissman and Ben Goodman have us on the edge of our seats as the mystery unfolds in the film “The Fountain Case.” Weissman sets the stage of the film by saying, “It’s been a year since the burning of the beloved Magic Fountain and Nick Ryan can’t resist the curiosity that had piqued his interest. What ensues is a mystery that sends him down an ice cream rabbit hole of conspiracies and lies.” The actors Nick Ryan, Luke Wroblewski, Drew Pickard, Matt Sullivan, Danny Hayes, seniors at MHS, and Emily Bright, Junior at MHS, add so much depth to this film.

Middle School 8th grader, Rachel Solomon documents the inspirational journey of her grandmother Maxine Solomon in her film “Walk – The Story of the Iron Grannies. The film shows the sheer stamina and determination of the Iron Grannies’ as they walk across the USA coast to coast.


The superb selection of films chosen this year is thanks to the judging panel: Stuart Sender, Kay O’Connell and members of the Millburn-Short Hills Arts Advisory Committee: Cathy Scorsese, Laraine Brennan-Barach, Andrew Permison, Amy McGovern, Victoria Plummer, Donna Davis, Judith Kramer, Orna Greenberg, and Kathi Hecht.

If you can’t make it to the Red Carpet Premiere join us at the daytime encore performance on Wednesday, April 26th at 11 a.m. at the Millburn Bow-Tie Cinema.  


See you at the movies!


THE WINNING FILMS OF 2016 presented by The EDUCATION FOUNDATION, TOWNE REALTY GROUP & NYFA – Special Honorees are Ms. Ellen Krueger & Mr. Gabe Rhodes


Trailer of the 5th Annual Millburn Film Fest

We are honoring two wonderful film teachers at the high school for their contributions as leaders and educators.
Thank you Ms. Ellen Krueger & Mr. Gabe Rhodes!(see below for more info)

“2:32” – submitted by Brendan Weissman (11th grade)
“Date Night” – submitted by Aaron Surloff (11th grade)
“Door After Door” – submitted by Jasen Aziz (12th grade)
“Let’s Disappear” – submitted by Kate Parker-Lentz (10th grade)
“Long Story Short – I Babysat” – submitted by Ethan Podell (12th Grade)
“Midnight Euphoria” – submitted by Chloe Xiang (9th grade)
“The Millennial” – submitted by Swathi Nachiappan (12th grade)
“New York City” – submitted by Julia Newman (11th grade)
“Paranoid” – submitted by Kyle Farscht (9th grade)
“Skyliners” – submitted by Julia Damesek (12th grade)
“Still in Motion” – submitted by Julia Newman (11th grade)
“Whistle” – submitted by Kevin Wang (8th grade)

COME SEE THE ENCORE EXTRAS along with the winning films ON APRIL 6TH 11 AM @ Millburn Bow-Tie Cinema
Stuck in a Coma – submitted by Ariel Riseman (10th grade)
Chives – submitted by Julia Kirkland (11th grade)
Hear Me Out – submitted by Kelly Faenza and Brielle Shapiro (12th graders)
Warbird – submitted by Anne Kramer (12th grade)
Venganza – submitted by Brian Lannino (12th grade)
Fall – submitted by Judy Yueng (9th grade)

We are honoring two wonderful film teachers at the high school. Ms. Krueger teaches film studies and Mr. Rhodes teaches the technical side of filmmaking. Six years ago, Ms. Ellen Krueger and her colleague, Mr. Gabe Rhodes, came up with the idea to hold the Krueger-Rhodes Awards, a ceremony designed to recognize and honor their aspiring filmmaking students. They wanted their students to have an opportunity to be acknowledged the way Millburn High School acknowledges students for their academic and athletic achievements. We are honored to present Ellen and Gabe with an award for their contributions as leaders and educators. They are a true testament to how teachers inspire students. It’s because of their commitment to enhancing the education of their students that we proudly present them with Millburn Film Fest’s first Krueger-Rhodes Award.

Ms. Krueger began her teaching in Millburn in September of 1982 as a teacher of English. She has taught a variety of courses including Modern American Writers, Short Fiction and Poetry, Advanced Expository Writing, Communications and Mass Media. In 1999, she was approached by guidance and asked to create a course that would bring media alive for accelerated students. Hence, Mass Media was born.
In the 17 years of teaching that course, Ms. Krueger has written not only the curriculum, but also a book on the subject of Media Literacy in the classroom titled Seeing and Believing, and moreover she has helped to write the future of hundreds of students. She loves teaching film because it reflects a very personal passion of hers. Simply take a look around her classroom and you will see how she brings the outside world inside.
Ms. Krueger is greatly impressed by the fearlessness of her pupils, what quick learners they are, how they embrace challenges, and how they work collaboratively.
After 33 years, she is proud of her career at Millburn High School. She says, “I have been respected, trusted, and appreciated.”
Our community is thrilled to have her and sincerely values all she has given in her knowledge, dedication, and creativity. She is a champion of students’ creativity and her enthusiasm to encourage students to submit their masterpieces is inspiring. We are so grateful for her help and guidance and appreciate her input in making the Film Fest a success.
Millburn High School Alum, Gabe Rhodes, returned to teach at Millburn in 2003. Mr. Rhodes began as a Math teacher and was eventually able to incorporate another passion into his teaching when his first Digital Video Production class was added to the schools curriculum several years later. He now teaches Math, Commercial Photography, and Audio/Visual Broadcast production. In addition, he spearheaded the creation of Studio 462, Millburn High School’s Internet TV station in 2014.
Although he began his career on Wall Street as an Arbitrage trader, he didn’t stray too far from his roots in photography. Much of his childhood was spent helping his father with the family photography business. In addition to teaching students the art of video production, he manages his own production company, GR Productions, a commercial photography and videography company specializing in portraits, events and weddings. He is also the sports photographer at Seton Hall where he received a Masters Degree in Professional Development (2005) and a Masters in Educational Leadership, Management, & Policy (2008).
He continually inspires his students and is always available to assist with new projects, despite his busy schedule at work and at home. His wife, Dionne, and three young children Adrianna, Anthony, and Dante are among his biggest fans. Obviously the students at Millburn are so lucky to have him as part of the teaching staff. Gabe’s unconditional willingness to help with the Film Fest since its inception has definitely contributed to the successful first 5 years.


GOLDFISH by Thomas Singer
LAPSE by Jasen Aziz
NEVERLAND by Max Retik
NOWADAYS by Larry Yu
PAPER by Alex DeRosa
SOAR by Jeremy Hochman
THIS IS ME by Julia Newman

Red Carpet Premiere-Millburn High School Friday, April 17, 2015

Tickets on sale at