Sock Monster,’ by Middletown South sophomore Victoria Pater, is among the finalists in the High School category of this year’s Project FX festival at the Count Basie Theatre this Saturday.

High school and college student filmmakers from all over New Jersey — including two from here on the Greater Red Bank Green — are among the finalists who will see their short works displayed on the big screen of the historic Count Basie Theatre when the Project FX statewide film competition invites the public to its third annual festival this Saturday.

Sponsored by Bank of America and presented in partnership with Sony Pictures Classics, the contest assembles hundreds of short-form narrative and documentary entries each year, showcasing young talent in acknowledgment of the DIY revolution that’s placed pro-grade videography and editing tech into the hands of aspiring filmmakers everywhere.

Middletown South junior Charlotte Larish is among the finalists with this entry, titled ‘When Randy Was Here.’

Finalists include a pair of students at Middletown High School South: junior Charlotte Larish (When Randy Was Here), and sophomore Victoria Pater (Sock Monster). All finalist films are available for preview at, where the viewers can have their say by “liking” or “sharing” the films on Facebook, which will figure into each film’s final score.

As in seasons past, the finalists were selected from the field of entries by a panel of judges that included Sony Pictures Classics co-founder (and Middletown resident) Tom Bernard; Oscar-nominated screenwriter James Schamus (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Brokeback Mountain); TV writer-producer David Iserson (Mr. Robot, New Girl, Saturday Night Live, Mad Men); Basie board member Maureen Van Zandt and others. The online vote will also figure into the final result, with a grand prize winner in both High School and College categories announced at the event.

Those grand-prize entrants will be awarded $1,000 cash, an internship experience with Sony Pictures Classics in Manhattan and a Sony digital video camera. Second place winners in each category will receive a $750 cash prize, while third-place finishers will receive a $500 cash prize.

Beginning at 2 p.m., the festival will also feature a panel discussion of industry experts and an audience Q&A on breaking into Hollywood and the motion picture industry.

The public is also welcome to attend the Project FX Festival free of charge. Take it here for (required) tickets — and scroll down for a full rundown of the finalist entries.

Competing Films:


Benjamin DeSimone (Senior, School of the Arts – East Brunswick Tech) Morning Coffee

Jasmine Guti (Senior, School of the Arts – East Brunswick Tech) Milk

David LaPorta (Senior, Shore Regional High School) Trick Question

Charlotte Larish (Junior, Middletown High School South) When Randy Was Here

Victoria Pater (Sophomore, Middletown High School South) Sock Monster

Paul Riccio (Senior, Montville Township High School) Chem Club

Lucas Savarese (Senior, Sussex County Technical School) Goldilocks

Archit Upadhyay (Senior, Old Bridge High School) Unconditional

Alex Volgyesi (Junior, Passaic Valley High School) GSA


Nicolas  Capra (Senior, Montclair State University) Gently Down

Peter Chamalian (Junior, Rowan University) Step One

Peter Dolshun (Senior, Montclair State University) Red

John Hicks (Junior, Stockton University) Interfaith Week: A Perspective of Islam

Amanda Kaminsky (Junior, Montclair State University) Text Wars

Julian Lipoff (Junior, Montclair State University) King Me

Leigh Pietz (Senior, Rowan University) Heads

Noah Resnick (Sophomore, Ocean County College), A Calcium Cartoon

Jennifer Seitis (Freshman, Ramapo College of New Jersey), Glasses

Alexa Werrlein (Senior, Montclair State University), Tiny Worlds