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Ella Gorga, Senior - Writer, Cinematographer, Editor
“La Temps De L'amour”, “For Life”,  “Time Loop”
In Ella's junior year she joined Film Studies recommended by a friend. This class impacted a passion for filmmaking, creating and writing movies. Since then her love has grown with movies and is always excited to watch a new release in the movie theater. Ella in her senior year joined Digital Film Production class and has made multiple movies with her partner Sienna Boccio. Three movies: Time Loop, Le Temps De L'amour and For Life will all be included in this year's film festival. Outside of making movies Ella enjoys listening to music, dance, and directing. This fall she will be attending College of Charleston and taking classes to learn more about film. Ella is very proud to have been chosen to show her work in the festival and she hopes you enjoy them as much as she does. 
Rebecca Weinberger, Senior -  Writer, Director
“Too Good”

Rebecca has been a fan of the film industry her whole life, especially the acting part. She first took Mr. Nadal's Film studies class her sophomore year and then went onto his Digital Film Production class junior year and lastly senior year she took his Advanced Digital Film Production class. Rebecca is a die hard romance movie fan and when first coming into Mr. In Nadal's class, she knew her calling was to include a lot of romance in the films she would make. This is Rebecca's second time being featured in the Film Festival. Last year her film Temptation was featured. Rebecca will be attending Sacred Heart University in the fall to study Theater Arts. 


Connor Nef, Senior -Director

“Crossing the Line”

has always found watching and making movies to be one of his favorite things to do. Starting in Digital Film Production in his Junior year, he is now in advanced film in his senior year. He learned about the film program through some of his great friends, and wanted to dive into the world of creating his own. Not only does he enjoy the filming aspect of the movies, but also the magic of editing. As well as this, he is in the Broadcasting Club, and was recently on air as the color commentator for a Highlands Baseball Broadcast. Next year, he will be attending Quinnipiac University to study in communications, pursuing his interest in broadcasting and journalism. Continuing a movie he filmed his junior year, The Detective, Connor Nef's final film looks to bring together the storyline he started. He strives to make great films not only for an audience, but also to create something that he is proud of.


Matthew Covello, Senior - Director, Cinematographer, Actor

“The Wood”, “Therapy”, “Another Day’s Work”

Matthew has always been a fan of films since he was a kid. He has always wanted people to see how he views things, but never knew how. He tried drawing, but that only worked for a little bit. He started film classes in his junior year of high school starting with a video editing class because his passion was becoming a youtuber. Once he made his final project for video editing, he had fallen in love with making films, so he then took film studies his second semester and instantly got hooked even more on film making. Matthew LOVES comedy movies and horror movies, so in this film he decided to mix both in one. Matthew had hoped to get one of his films into the film festival his junior year, but his films “who did it” and “The Birthday(s)?” were not cut out to be in it. He kept on trying to get his films in the festival, and he now has 3 films with this one in it this year. He is very proud to see this much progress in only 1 year and hopes for his film career to only get better in the future.


SIENNA BOCCIO, FRESHMAN-Director, Writer, Actor

“La Temps De L’amour”, “For Life”, “Time Loop"

Sienna has always enjoyed watching movies and T.V. shows not just for the entertainment value, but also because she has a growing interest in and appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into producing them. This is a main reason why she wanted to be a part of the Digital Film Production class during her first year at Northern Highlands – and the class did not disappoint. She had the best time and learned so much creating, acting in and editing films with her classmate Ella Gorga. Sienna is also a professional actress and content creator who has appeared in T.V shows including Saturday Night Live and Impractical Jokers, as well as dozens of commercials for brands such as Entenmann’s, Chobani and Bowlero. Sienna is perhaps most proud of her long-running T.V. and movie-centric interview web series, “Search It Up with Sienna.” Sienna interviews dozens of talented actors, directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and many others who work in front of and behind the camera. When she’s not creating content, Sienna can be found in NYC on many weekends taking acting classes from legendary coaches Denise Simon and Zuhdi Boueri. Outside of acting, Sienna is an avid tennis player and is on the JV tennis team at Northern Highlands. Sienna is overjoyed that, “For Life," Ella and her final film, as well as a few other films will be featured in the NHRHS Film Festival this year. Sienna is excited that her first year of high school was a success and can't wait to see what else the next three years at Northern Highlands holds for her. Sienna is the first ever freshman to have work selected in the Northern Highlands Advanced Film Festival.


Joey Hull, Senior - Director, Writer

“The Dam”

Joey is a former Feature Film Maker from the 2022 festival and is an invited presenter this year. He has always been a fan of watching and creating movies. He enjoys expressing himself creatively through screenplays, as well as watching movies with his friends on the weekends. His film career started in freshman year in Digital Film Production and continued to Advanced Film Production in sophomore year where his movie, The Heist, was featured. After taking a break in junior year, Joey is excited to make his return to the silver screen with The Dam, a movie about a couple of friends making a dam and memories in the process. In addition to his work being shown, he is also directing the live broadcast of the show. Although Joey loves film, he will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in the fall and majoring in mathematics. He hopes to continue it as a hobby and is excited to show off his work at the film festival. 


Christopher Joseph, Sophomore - Director, Producer

“The Carnage”

Chris had watched and enjoyed movies since he was a little kid, but one day he decided that he wanted to be part of the filmmaking process, not just a viewer of it, so he joined the digital film production class in Northern Highlands. Under the teaching of Mr. Nadal, Chris has been able to produce high-quality short films such as “The Carnage” and “ The Adventures of Magic Max”. Nadal challenged Chris to make films outside of his comfort zone and to be original while striving for excellence. The short film “The Carnage” was Chris' finest work, and he is honored to have a piece of his work displayed at the film festival. He hopes that you enjoy watching their film as much as they enjoyed creating it.


Maxwel Gurkovic, Senior - Director, Producer

“The Carnage”

Maxwel has always been a movie enthusiast. He initially was drawn to this class because it seemed enjoyable and served as an escape from all the academic stress of high school. However, this class ignited a fervor within him for the intricacies of film production and sparked a passion within him for producing films. It created a fun escape from the various AP courses where he could have fun making films and also learn the complexities and various techniques in the production of films. His part of the film creation process is typically the acting, scriptwriting, and strategic placement of various film techniques. Although Maxwel will be attending Emory University in the fall to pursue a career in finance, his interest in film making remains undimmed as he hopes to further his work in film production as a hobby. However, after taking this class he is even considering taking a business and film dual major Emory provides. 


Zachary Zimmerman, Senior - Director, Producer

Zachary Zimmerman is a passionate creator and artist. Almost everything he does in his life surrounds music: Whether he’s creating genre-defying electronic music as Explainer, or creating and covering all sorts of rock music as the drummer for Mush. In order to force himself outside his comfort zone, he took Digital Film and found a similar passion for filmmaking. CARDS was stylistically inspired by dramatic westerns, and explores how anonymity affects the way people behave -- a large problem in online spaces. Much like his music, his films are inspired by video games, tv shows, music, and online culture that he grew up with. Unsurprisingly, the soundtrack plays an important role in almost every film of his. 


Abigail Sardo, Senior - Director, Producer, Cinematographer
“On The Rocks”, “From the Dining Table”
Abby is a past Featured Film Maker from the 2023 festival and is also an invited presenter this year.  From the time she was two, Abby knew she wanted to pursue film as a career and since then her passion for film has never wavered.  She particularly specializes in horror and coming of age films and has continued to produce these throughout her career at Highlands. During her summers she has participated in film classes at Brown University's pre-college program and the New York Film Academy where she was able to analyze and produce further content in several genres.  Her film, "On the Rocks" was featured in the Ramapo College Film Festival last year and her films "Lonesome", "La Prima", and "Outbreak" were featured in the  NHAFF the past two years.  In the fall she will attend Boston University, majoring in Film and Television. If possible she hopes to go on to graduate and postgraduate programs for film to prompt a career in cinematography or screenwriting.

Lilith Evans - Writer, Director, Animator

"The Ballad of Caravaggio", "A Trip Through Gamma-5/The Asteroid"

Lilith Evans' greatest want is to give wonder to others. Growing up, they loved animated shows and movies, especially in their way to depict imaginative ideas. They joined Digital Film Production their senior year to work hard and make good movies. Their films: The Ballad of Caravaggio and A Trip Through Gamma-5/The Asteroid will be displayed in the film festival. They plan on continuing their passion for entertainment by attending the School of Visual Arts, majoring in animation.


Kenneth Bernstein - Producer


Kenneth's journey into the realm of movies and has always wondered how he could create films similar to the movies he has watched. He took video editing his  freshman year and gained inspiration from that class to try a different one of Mr Nadal’s classes called film production. Kenneth was one of the actors in the short film “Carnage” he played one of the victims in the film and he enjoyed and learned a lot from the experience of playing this role. He is very excited for the audience to see his movie!