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More honors for MCVTS School of the Arts students

More honors for MCVTS School of the Arts students

School of the Arts students in the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools continue to receive recognition.

Nine digital film students were honored by the 43rd annual New Jersey Young Filmmakers Festival.

First place in the animation category went to Benjamin DeSimone, a senior from Woodbridge, for “Morning Coffee.” The film can be viewed at

Jasmine Gutierrez, also a senior from Woodbridge, took first place in documentary category for “Milk” (

Second place in the experimental category was won by shared by Paul Sindac, a junior from New Brunswick, for “2016” (

Franchesca Rodriguez of Perth Amboy, Emily Arce of South River, Amanda Clark of North Brunswick, and Melia Velez of Woodbridge, all sophomores, received honorable mention in animation for “Technicolor Mind”


Honorable mention in the experimental category went to seniors Rosalia Richter of East Brunswick and Andrew Massaro of South River for “Static”


The MCVTS digital film program is taught by Louis Libitz.

The festival was held earlier this month at Thomas Edison’s film studio, the Black Maria, at the Edison National Historic Park in West Orange. The entries were judged by a jury of filmmakers and media professionals.

Four students in the MCVTS theater program also have something to brag about.

Jose Dominguez, a senior from Edison, was cast as an ensemble member for the upcoming production of “A Christmas Carol” at McCarter Theatre in Princeton.

Elena Zambrowski, a junior from Fords, was accepted into the Metro Scholars stage management program at Two River Theater in Red Bank. A highly competitive, year-long program, it is open to high school juniors from across New Jersey. Participants take workshops and master classes with professional artists and assist staff.

Aisha Mahon, a junior from Sayreville, was accepted into the McCarter Theatre summer apprenticeship program for stage managers.

Lauren Cyrus, a senior from South Brunswick, received a full scholarship from McCarter Theatre to attend its Summer High School Intensive, in which she will collaborate with professionals to stage a new musical.

MCVTS theater students are taught by Maria Aladren.

The MCVTS School of the Arts, on the East Brunswick Campus, offers career majors in theater, dance, digital filmmaking, graphic design/commercial art and illustration, multimedia art and design, and arts technology.