Park City High students recognized for film at international festival
Senior and recent graduate named winners at festival
Being surrounded by famous actors, producers and directors once a year during the Sundance Film Festival rubbed off on Gregory Foltynowicz and Bennett Barbosa at a young age. For as long as they can remember, they wanted to be filmmakers. Now, the two are getting international recognition.
Foltynowicz, a recent Park City High School graduate, and Barbosa, a senior, created a short film for the Miner Film Festival on May 11 that went on to be an official selection at The All American High School Festival this year. The 20-minute film, “The Courier,” was selected as the winner in the best cinematography category against about 2,000 films submitted around the globe. It was also nominated for best editing and best of the fest.
Barbosa also submitted a film called “Sanguine,” which was nominated for best cinematography.
“You have a passion and people recognize that and give you credit for it,” he said. “It’s pretty sweet.”
The festival, which is sponsored by Paramount Pictures and Relativity School, is a well-known contest for high school films. Earning the recognition was a major accomplishment for the duo.
“I couldn’t believe it honestly,” Foltynowicz said. “I saw all the nominations. All of them were beautifully shot. They were all just amazing. They just decided to pick me. It was really a shock I was recognized over so many people.”
Foltynowicz, who wrote, directed and edited “The Courier” last year, said he spent countless hours during his senior year prepping before shooting the film in a weekend with Barbosa, the director of photography. They also worked with Megan Aubrey, currently a senior at the high school, who did the storyboard drawings.
Barbosa and Foltynowicz have been working together on films since they met in high school. They submitted films to multiple festivals the year before as well, and were recognized at the Cinequest Film Festival in California. Their first year of submitting to festivals was more of a learning process, they said.
“Greg and I are kind of the dynamic duo,” Barbosa said. “He does a lot of the writing and then I shoot whatever he writes. We are just kind of leaning on each other.”
Barbosa wrote and directed his film “Sanguine,” but he also received help and advice from Foltynowicz during the process. Although Foltynowicz is attending the Colorado Film School in Denver the two hope to continue to work together.
Both Barbosa and Foltynowicz love telling stories through film. Foltynowicz tried to find any chance he could growing up to make a movie. Whether it was a school project or the Miner Morning Show at the high school, he continued learning. Being in a community that loves independent films helped as well.
Barbosa said they were able to make connections and tap into the local film community because of the high school and the Sundance Film Festival.
“I would see everything and even talk to some producers,” Foltynowicz said. “That’s the beauty of being in Park City. You’re constantly around it all the time so you get to understand it.”
The team is waiting to hear back from other festivals they entered. “The Courier” will be showing at the Park City Filmmakers Showcase hosted by The Park City Film Series on Nov. 9.
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