Florida Student Finalists and Celebrity Presenters Announced for 2016 Student Showcase of Films Awards Show!

February 23, 2016

Media contact:
Danielle Quintero
M: 561.706.0201
O: 855.525.2899



Frank Licari to host, Burt Reynolds, Vanilla Ice, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Emily Brooke
and other surprise guests to present at the 21st Annual Awards

Palm Beach County, FL (March 4, 2016) – The Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF) – in collaboration with the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission, announced finalists for the 2016 Student Showcase of Films. The finalists were selected out of 254 eligible submissions and 1,557 overall submissions. The winners will be announced Friday, March 11th, before more than 700 students, industry professionals, VIP’s and celebrities at the Student Showcase of Films Red Carpet Awards Show at Lynn University’s Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center in Boca Raton, Florida.

Celebrating his tenth year hosting, Frank Licari - an accomplished actor, director, producer, musician, comedian and writer who has appeared in over 3,500 performances including the Blue Man Group and Walt Before Mickey - will host and entertain the crowd at the exciting live event. Legendary actor Burt Reynolds will personally announce the Burt Reynolds’s scholarship recipient, Vanilla Ice, rapping sensation and star of the DIY Network’s Vanilla Ice Project, will present the Music Video Award, Thomas Ian Nicholas, star of the American Pie film trilogy, Rookie of the Year and the Fox television drama Party of Five, will present the Feature/Short awards and Emily Brooke, American Idol Seasons 14 and 15, will bestow the Audience Award at the 21st Annual Student Showcase of Films Awards Show among other surprise guests to be announced closer to show time.

The placements of the winners for the Feature/Short category, as well as the Burt Reynolds and Sara Fuller scholarship winners, will be announced at the 21st Annual Red Carpet Awards Show. The finalists, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Burt Reynolds Scholarship Finalists
Chayse Banks, Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Jonathan Lockhart Jr, G-Star School of the Arts
Jesse Miller, G-Star School of the Arts
William Ruback, G-Star School of the Arts
Kaci Sleeth, Seminole Ridge High School

Feature/Short, College Award Winners
Whitney Clinkscales, Florida State University, Hush
Yingxiang Huang, Florida State University, Isa and the Frog Prince
Saad Nawab, Florida State University, Frankenstein’s Light

Feature/Short, High School Award Winners
William Stead, Harrison School of the Arts, Common Ground
William Stead, Harrison School of the Arts, Crash Course
Jesse Veliz, Calvary Christian Academy, Friend-tervention

SSOF’s competition winners in other categories include:

1st Place Animation Award Winner
Isabela Littger, Anna Paddock & Kriti Kaur, Ringling College of Art and Design, None of That

1st Place Commercial/PSA Award Winner
Will Fritz, Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Bass Egg Tire Burnout

1st Place Documentary Award Winner
Gabriel Souza, Florida State University, Finless

1st Place Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful Environmental PSA Award Winner
Anna Mott, Key West High School, Keep our Beaches Beautiful

1st Place “Know Difference” Mental Health Awareness PSA Award Winner (NEW for 2016)
Cristian Aguiar, G-Star School of the Arts, Equality

1st Place Music Video Award Winner
Kaci Sleeth, Seminole Ridge High School, Possibilities

1st Place Nellie & Fred Chasin Screenwriting Award Winner
Jesse Timm, Full Sail University, Life in the Moment

1st Place Poster Design Award Winner
Bailey Glazer, Nova Southeastern University, 2017 Poster Design

The top ten high school feature/shorts, as scored by the judges, are now competing for the Audience Award via Online Voting through midnight on March 10th. The feature short with the most votes will receive the Audience Award at the Student Showcase of Films. Voting is available by going to http://pbcgov.com/filmfestival/.  Entries for the audience award include:

  • Cristian Aguiar, G-Star School of the Arts, America

  • Erica Criss, Key West High School, What If?

  • Aaron Gauger, Dixie Hollins High School, Could Be Worse

  • Maddie Glas, Howard W. Blake High School, Sincerely, Me

  • Wesley Hayes, Harrison School of the Arts, Double Trouble

  • Wesley Hayes, Harrison School of the Arts, Tick Tock

  • Mackenzie Pike, Harrison School of the Arts, Whipped

  • William Stead, Harrison School of the Arts, Common Ground

  • William Stead, Harrison School of the Arts, Crash Course

  • Jesse Veliz, Calvary Christian Academy, Friend-tervention

The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Please RSVP by March 1 by emailing ccobb@pbfilm.com or calling 561.233.1000.

About the Student Showcase of Films
Over $11,000 will be given in scholarships and awards at the live award show. Each year, top industry professionals judge the submitted entries and competition finalists are honored at a sizzling live awards show for more than 700 attendees from around the state. Winning student films will also be screened in their entirety on the “big screen” at the students’ own premiere during PBIFF, April 6 – April 14, 2016.

For more information about the Student Showcase of Films
lease visit www.pbfilm.com, StudentShowcaseOfFilms (Facebook) or @StudentFilmsFL (Twitter). This program is funded by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, the Palm Beach County’s Office of Economic Sustainability, the PBIFF and the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission.  Our generous sponsors include:  Lynn University, Film Florida, Michael Chasin, Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc. and the Information Television Network.

About the Palm Beach International Film Festival (April 6 – April 14, 2016)

The Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF) has secured its place as one of America’s top film festivals including a long history of representing the best in American independent and foreign films from around the globe. The festival thrives in the true spirit of independent cinema. In 2015, the 20th PBIFF hosted 121 films from 24 countries. 78 features were presented, including 30 World, International, North American, and US Premieres. Nearly half were directed by women. Over 60 filmmakers, cast, and crew attended the festival from countries such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela, to name just a few. In its second year, the festival’s popular sidebar “The Jewish Experience” featured 32 Jewish and Israeli-centric films, including 10 from Israel. 

Visiting filmmakers enjoy the hospitality of a film-friendly community, welcoming audiences, and making new industry contacts from around the world. Dedicated to making a difference in the lives of future filmmakers, the festival hosts insightful industry panels, student filmmaking programs, and unique networking opportunities all set against the background of Palm Beach County’s tropical beaches, waterways, and elite venues. 

The PBIFF has hosted a bevy of top celebrities and filmmakers including Academy Award® Winners Adrien Brody, Anthony Hopkins, Tommy Lee Jones, Faye Dunaway, Dennis Hopper, Louise Fletcher, and Michael Caine; and Academy Award® Nominees Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Robert Evans, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins, and Burt Reynolds; along with countless other legends, stars, and filmmakers that have created movie magic for the past 80 years including Roger Moore, Faye Wray, Esther Williams, Anouk Aimee, Samuel L. Jackson, Cyd Charisse, Richard Zanuck, William Friedkin, Brett Ratner, Jacqueline Bisset, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Rod Steiger.

For more information about the 21st PBIFF go to pbifilmfest.org.



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