April 7, 2019

The 24th Annual Student Showcase of Films at Lynn University celebrated Florida’s best student filmmakers while commemorating the iconic life and career of Burt Reynolds on April 5. Over 800 attendees took part in this year’s celebration at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center in Boca Raton, where 16 exceptional students were ultimately presented with trophies, cash awards and scholarships totaling more than $16,000 at the largest student film competition in the state. Nearly 700 entries were submitted this year, with 279 moving on to the judging stage, made up of 45 industry professionals from around the world.

Vanilla Ice, Michelle Hillery, Montel Williams

The entrance to the Wold Performing Arts Center was lined with classic Trans Ams and Bandit cars from Burt Reynold’s hit movie Smokey and The Bandit. There was even a mini Burt Reynolds and Sally Field posing for the paparazzi! Presenters included rapper and reality TV star Vanilla Ice, TV talk show host Montel Williams, Hollywood actor Chris Hayes, and many more. Host Frank Licari was in peak form, entertaining students from across the state along with their friends and families, state and county dignitaries, judges and VIPs.

Students on the Red Carpet

Winners included Roberto Torres from A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts for the Burt Reynolds Scholarship and Joey Aliberto from G-Star School of the Arts for the Sara Fuller Scholarship. Xiao Ma from Florida State University won the first place College Feature. Isaiah Fernandez from West Broward High School took first place High School Feature, Julia Moran from Palm Beach Gardens High School snagged top honors in Environmental PSA and Vincent Bonasera from G-Star grabbed the Mental Health Awareness award. The Suzanne L. Niedland Documentary Award went to Eli Dreyfuss of Florida Atlantic University. For a complete list of winners, visit


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