More than one film festival screened in Baltimore last week. Synchronized with the celebrated Maryland Film Fest, Gilman School launched its first annual student film showcase, featuring shorts by Baltimore-area teens. Over 150 attendees made the scene.

Of the more than forty original film submissions received, nineteen were selected to screen, representing the best of the categories of short narrative, short documentary, music video, and short animation. Two PSA’s premiered as well. Jury panel was comprised of Gilman faculty, administrators and a few students from the Film Club. 

Iva Turner, Gilman’s Head of Upper School, first proposed the fest idea to junior Daniel Citron. (Daniel is my son.) Impressed with the widespread interest he’d achieved in launching and maintaining a school film club two years earlier, she saw an opportunity to expand Gilman’s emerging arts program into a new realm. Daniel, an avid filmmaker, brought the ambitious fest idea to life.

John Schmick, Gilman’s head of school said, “One of Gilman’s main objectives is to provide students the opportunity to shine in all different arenas. We recognize that creative arts unleash and enhance brainpower in significant ways for development. This particular program kicked off our Festival of Arts, which showcases the best of our visual and musical arts programs. The school play was the week prior to the festival. There’s so much fabulous energy here on campus right now.” 

Gilman seniors Daniel Hoffman and Nick Cortezi’s film “The Kid” was awarded both the Best Narrative and the Special Jury Prizes.

“We both have an interest in filmmaking and, when the festival was announced, it gave us the opportunity to explore what we could do,” said Hoffman. The boys set out to create interesting, unique characters viewers might not have before seen. They settled on the time-honored theme of an old fashioned Western, but decided to cast a 10-year-old as the unlikely star. 

“What we lacked in experience, we made up for in originality,” Hoffman said.

Film Festival winners received $500 scholarship awards contributed by New York Film Academy to their summer filmmaking program in Los Angeles.       

And the winners are: 

Grand Jury Prize and Best Narrative:  “The Kid” by Daniel Hoffman & Nick Cortezi, Gilman. Now Showing! On our Home page and at

Best Narrative Runner Up: “Oedipus” by John Chirikjian, Gilman.

Best Music Video: “Got2Go by Alex Elliott,” Broadneck High School, Annapolis.

Best Music Video Runner Up: “Acapella You Tube Melody” by Ryan Sevel, McDonogh.

3rd Place Best Music Video: “Simple Lyrics” by Grace Harrington, Bryn Mawr.