Laraine Brennan Barach, Chairperson of AAC, with Lynn Farscht and Alyssa Russo of the Millburn Film Fest
Friday, April 20, Millburn High School: The 7th Annual Millburn Film Fest was an inspiring celebration of student creativity and talent, and the AAC was proud to have once again judged the student entries. This year, 21 films were entered, and 9 winners were selected to be shown at the screening. Top prize went to “In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust” by 7th Grade MMS student Carli Platt. Second prize went to “Unburned” by MHS Sophomore, Alex DeRosa.
This was also a special night as our chairperson, Laraine Brennan Brach, was awarded the Kruger-Rhodes Award for her commitment to promoting artwork within the community.
More about Laraine and the award from the Millburn Film Festival:
The origin of the Krueger-Rhodes Award came about to honor community members that show a commitment to enhance the education of their students through the arts and film. It is inspired and named after the two teachers, Ms Ellen Kreuger & Mr Gabe Rhodes, who teach film making at the High School and started their own award ceremony eight years ago to honor their students. Film Fest continues this award to honor a woman who truly encapsulates the meaning of commitment and inspiration.
Laraine is a very special individual to the Millburn Community. She grew up in New York, attended NYU Tisch for Filmmaking and worked professionally in the industry for many years. Laraine has lived in Millburn/Short Hills for 44 years with her husband Steven of 45 years. Together they raised 3 daughters, Cathy, Tanya and Erin, who all attended the Millburn Schools. For thirteen years she has served on the Millburn Township Art Advisory Committee and is currently serving as Chairperson. Art Advisory started mentoring artists and student internships under her leadership. Laraine started a scholarship program for art students in Millburn/Short Hills with over 300 students honored to date. She hosts the AP Scholarship Gala entitled “The Point of Origin” where you can see first hand Laraine’s passion for this mission and dedication to these students. In addition to mentoring students she has curated 23 Art Exhibits for Art Advisory.
While Laraine’s accomplishments are many and her education and background in film and theater are extensive one of her noted accomplishments was the movement to preserve old American Films, Hollywood Films and negatives that were being lost and destroyed. Bringing industry attention to this loss of invaluable assets, she helped launch a film preservation movement with director Martin Scorsese, to whom she was married for seven years. The Film Preservation movement flourishes today and is now publicly supported. Her dedication and commitment to the preservation of arts in the Millburn/Short Hills Community is just as passionate and we thank you for making a difference.
A short film that was created by a past Millburn Film Fest winner and art advisory AP Award Recipient, Emma Quong to honor Laraine. Emma along with other Millburn student artists and filmmakers show us how significant their experience with Laraine has been to their journey as a professional artist.
Emma Quong’s Tribute Film can be seen below, which she shared along with these comments:
I hope you had an extraordinary evening and I am so thrilled to have been able to share in the smiles and sharing of art with you. Big congratulations on the Krueger-Rhodes awards. We can’t thank you enough for what you do for our community and the arts.
Laraine Barach Tribute Video
Arts Advisory Members at the Millburn Film Fest: Kathi Hecht, Judy Kramer, Andrew Permison, Laraine Barach, Donna Davis, Amy McGovern, Cathy Scorsese
Alyssa Russo, Laraine Barach and Lynn Farscht
Filmmakers David Koh and Emma Quong. Both are past Art Advisory Scholarship recipients. David is an international award winning filmmaker. Emma’s film “On Pointe”
debuted at the AAC Scholarship Gala in 2016 and was screened at Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
the same year.