A student filmmaker from Communications High School has been nominated for an MSG Varsity V Award.
Andrea Massaro, a senior from Oceanport, received the nomination in the Best Editing category for her short film, “What’s Your Fortune?” She is one of five tri-state area student filmmakers to receive the nomination.
The minute-long piece, along with 44 other student films, was chosen from a field of more than 3,600 submissions by the MSG Varsity television channel and the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, according to an MSG Varsity press release.
The winners from ten categories are scheduled to be announced May 10 on the MSG Varsity channel, and will earn a $5000 grant for their high schools, the release said.
Massaro said she has been making films since the third grade and is thrilled to finally see her work recognized by others outside of her immediate community.
“It feels really, really great. I spent so much time on the pre-production and then the production. And to know that it’s recognized as a great piece, it’s just amazing. I feel so special right now,” Massaro said.
Her film has also been screened this year at several film festivals around the country, including the Foursite Film Festival in Utah, the Fargo Film Festival in North Dakota, and the San Joaquin International Film Festival’s Teen Truth section in California, according to her teacher David Salowe, a digital video instructor at Communications High School.
Salowe said he’s taught Massaro since her freshman year and has seen her develop into one of his best students.
“Andrea has the quiet talents, where you don’t realize how talented she is because she’s so quiet and conscientious. But when she puts out videos, they almost always have been really great. She’s smart, and organized and creative, and both technically creative as well as in her stories. So it’s really the whole package,” Salowe said. “She has grown tremendously.”
Salowe said Massaro’s knack for storytelling is why she must have stood out from the bunch and received the editing award nomination.
“She’s able to write a script, and that’s great, but you tell your story in the editing,” Salowe said. “And for her to be able to get that across, create a whole mood and two really distinct characters in a minute is really a testament to her visual storytelling.”
Massaro, who said she is still undecided whether she’ll study film in college, credits the time she has spent at Communications High School and learning from teachers like Salowe, with preparing her for a possible career.
“If I want to go into filmmaking in college, I think this school has definitely prepared me for it,” Massaro said.
But Salowe said while he provided Massaro with the tools, the young filmmaker deserves much more credit than she would ever admit.
“It’s not so much how much I’ve taught her, it’s that what I’ve taught her she’s been able to use and manipulate to make her own,” Salowe said. “She really has been able to go from someone who is a beginner just learning the basics, to actually taking them and making them something special.”