Laraine Barach, AAC Chair, receives 3rd Annual Kruger-Rhodes Award at Millburn Film Festival

Laraine Lynn and Alyssa MFF 2018

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.

lb tribute video jpg

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.

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2018 Scholarship Winners and Mentors: Sneak Preview of “Mentors” Show 2018

Here’s a preview of the upcoming Art Advisory Art Show at the Millburn Library on display from May 1 -30. It will feature winning artworks from the AP and Honor Art Scholarship awards combined with artworks from local mentors.
Millburn Library
200 Glen Avenue
Milburn, NJ 07041


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Art Advisory Committee Names 2018 Scholarship Winners

The Millburn-Short Hills Art Advisory Committee is thrilled to announce the AP Art Scholarship winners for 2018.  Once again, the committee evaluated Millburn High School AP Art and Honors Program portfolios and selected winners that showed consistent talent, growth, and a commitment to their artwork.

The winning artworks will be on display in the “Mentors” show at the Millburn Library from May 1-30. The Millburn Library is located at 200 Glen Avenue, Millburn, NJ.

Jenny Yeung- Senior Honorable Mention
Sophia Hoodis-Senior Honorable Mention
Rachel Thornton-Senior Award of Merit
Betsy Muller-Senior Award of Merit
Anna Williams-Senior AP Award, First Place
Rachel Woolfson-Senior Honorable Mention

(back row)
Maggie Ma- Junior Award of Merit
Sarah Rosenthal- Junior Honorable Mention
Katie Darvin- Junior Honorable Mention
(front row)
Valentina Ordonez- Junior Honorable Mention
Nina Radke- Junior Award of Merit


ANNA WILLIAMS: SENIOR AP AWARD FIRST PLACE “Textured Still Life” & “Self Portrait” ink/charcoal, “Greenwood Gardens”Pencil

BETSY MULLER: SENIOR AWARD OF MERIT “Trapeze Queen” & “Black Lagoon” & “Tall Sails”

RACHEL THORNTON: SENIOR AWARD OF MERIT “White Charcoal” Still Life & “Senior Citizen” & “Portrait of Musician”



JENNY YEUNG*:SENIOR HONORABLE MENTION “Concentration# 4” & “Coffee Stain”


MAGGIE MA: JUNIOR AWARD OF MERIT , EXCELLENT PORTFOLIO “PuppetMaster(watercolor)” & “The Machine”

NINA RADKE: JUNIOR AWARD OF MERIT, EXCELLENT PORTFOLIO “Tomasson “(oil)&” Kitchen counter”&”White Lie”




SARAH ROSENTHAL: JUNIOR HONORABLE MENTION “Visit to the A City”(mixed Media)”BURANO”(Oil)”Chilly Day”

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Winners announced for 2018 Millburn Film Fest

The Art Advisory Committee is proud to again have judged the student films of the Millburn Film Fest and we are excited to share this year’s winners’ announcement. We congratulate all the young filmmakers!


The Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills is putting students in the spotlight again this year and will be showcasing 9 winning films at the 7th Annual Millburn Film Fest. The Red Carpet Premiere will be on Friday, April 20th, 7:00 p.m. at Millburn High School and is made possible thanks to Academy Award Sponsors The Shannon Aronson Group and New York Film Academy, and Studio Sponsors Jodi Rubenstein & Joanna Parker-Lentz Realty Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, PNC Wealth Management, and Producer Sponsor The Gonnella Team. The community is invited to view short family friendly films Millburn Middle & High school students have created, walk the red carpet, take home a complementary photo, and exit the event to a fanfare.

You will be inspired and amazed by the student films wide range of subject matter from an original music video, a documentary about the Holocaust, the turmoil of getting into college, and an animation showing the strength of women standing together. The superb selection of films chosen this year is thanks to the 2018 judging panel: Michael Klein, David Koh, Laraine Brennan-Barach, Cathy Scorsese, Victoria Plummer, Andrew Permison, Amy McGovern, Judith Kramer, Kathi Hecht, Donna Davis, Orna Greenberg.


29570951_1585682268146667_4091748840029675392_nOn the big screen this year will be “Coffee,” “In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust,” “Parallel Lines,” “Procrastination,” “School Girls,” “Swindler,” “The Decision,” “Unburned,” and “Unexpected Gap Year.” The top filmmaker will receive a scholarship to New York Film Academy one-week summer film camp.

In “Coffee” filmmaker Kyle Farscht (junior at Millburn High School) explores relationships and an unexpected twist of fate. Actors Matthew Green (MHS junior) and Tori Sonza (MHS senior) performances enhance this emotional film. Kyle wrote, directed, filmed, color corrected, and edited this intense drama.

The youngest filmmaker this year, Carli Platt (Millburn Middle School 7th grader) takes on the complicated topic of the Holocaust in her film “In Plain Sight: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust.” The documentary chronicles the life of Wilhelmina De Kadt, now Willie Juhlin, a victim of the Holocaust. Though she wasn’t placed in a concentration camp, her life was taken in a different way; her parents, her childhood, even her religious identity were taken from her, as a Hidden Child of the Holocaust. Carli wrote, directed, edited & narrated this film and had her brother, Tyler Platt (MHS senior), film the interview for the documentary.

Cynthia Cheng (MHS senior) shows us a misunderstood relationship between an academically strong girl and a boy who needs a tutor for his test. The film “Parallel Lines” shows subtle emotions among teenagers and a reflection of misread intentions. This collaborative mass media project was created by seniors Cynthia Cheng (co-directed & filmed), Jasmine Guan (co-directed, wrote, & lead female actor) Spencer Estes (lead male actor), Lana Ning (co-editor), Nicole Villalba (co-editor), Megan Chien (actor), Vanessa Jiang (actor), Aidan Chalnick (actor), and Terrence Shi (actor).

You don’t want to hesitate to head to the film fest this year or you may miss “Procrastination” a comedy by Daniel Lee (MMS 8th grader). The film starts off with a boy who realizes he hasn’t finished his essay due the next day. We are then sent through his wacky adventure of trying to write an essay. Daniel directed, filmed, edited, wrote & submitted this entertaining satire.

In the documentary “School Girls,” we get a glimpse of the lives of three teens, Monica Taladtad and Jeanelyn & Georgelyn Batoy, who work as household help for a family so they can attend school in Makato, Philippines. Eliza Tagle made the journey to the Philippines where she filmed and interviewed the girls. A sophomore at MHS, Eliza directed, wrote, filmed and edited this documentary.

“Swindler” is an original song written and sung by Sofia Baran (sophomore at MHS) that showcases the importance of close friendships, and how much light is brought into one’s life through the support of others. Through this candid, intimate insight into a close friendship, discover how pure and healing friendship can be. Sema Madahar (MHS sophomore) directed, filmed, wrote & submitted this heartwarming music video. Sema had singer Sofia Baran as well as classmates Aoife Weiss, (MHS sophomore) Drew Demeterio (MHS sophomore) to act in the film

The college admissions process is stressful for everyone at Millburn High School. “The Decision” tells the story of two students that apply to their dream school and shows how their friendship is tested when their worst nightmare of differing decisions is realized. How much does admission mean, and how far will a student go to get in? Maddy Freeman and fellow seniors created this drama as a mass media project for Ms. Krueger’s class. This all star senior cast includes Maddy Freeman (producer, director, co-writer, co-cinematographer, editor, actor and submitter), Brad Klein (producer, co-writer, co-cinematographer, and actor), Sophie Richman (producer, co-writer, and actor), Jason Wei (producer, co-cinematographer, and actor), Ben Pearl (producer and actor), Ariel Neyman (producer and actor). Millburn High School’s Ms. Krueger and Dr. Keenan are supporting actors in the film.

Throughout history, strong and talented women have been attacked as witches. “Unburned” is the story of a young woman whose ability provokes fear and violence in her community. In her moment of need, she discovers that the support of other women is the only thing that can save her. Sophomore, Alex DeRosa, created this beautiful animated film “Unburned” with her digital artistry. Alex (sophomore MHS) directed, animated, edited, wrote & submitted this film.

“Unexpected Gap Year” is a coming of age film about a high school senior applying to colleges. The film follows Miriam who is trying to find her own path that may not be conventional, compared to her friends, and expectations of her family. Ariel Riseman (MHS senior) directed, edited, co-wrote, and submitted this film. The star of the film, Miriam Harrow (MHS senior) also co-wrote “Unexpected Gap Year” and shared the screen with actors Emily Fried, Rachel Broder, Vivian Harrow, Alex Harrow, Max Harrow, Sophia Hoodis, Amanda Model, Maanya Tandon, Holly Graziano

If you can’t make it to the Red Carpet Premiere join us at the daytime encore performance on Thursday, April 26th at 11 a.m. at the Millburn Bow-Tie Cinema. In addition to the 9 winning films we will be screening two ENCORE EXTRAS – “Wasted Generation” by Kate Parker-Lentz and “Entrée” by Kyle Farscht. See you at the movies!

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100 years of Edward Dufner “Paintings of Light”

The Arts Advisory Committee’s restoration of the famed local painter’s works will be coming to our exhibition in May 2018 at the Millburn Library.  More details to come about this exciting project reviving the Dufner paintings to their amazing vibrance.

“In the Summertime” by Edward Dufner in the process of being restored to its original glory

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“Landmarks” reception at the Millburn Library

Sunday, October 22:   A reception was held in the Millburn Library Gallery this afternoon to celebrate the current Art Advisory Committee curated show, “Landmarks”.  The show will remain on display until October 30.

“Landmarks” Art Show
Millburn Free Public Library
200 Glen Avenue
Millburn, NJ 07041
(973) 376-1006

Here are Mayor Cheryl Bernstein and Ben Rizzo discussing his richly decorated maps of Newark, part of this year’s Landmarks Show at Millburn Library.

AAC members Michelle San Fillipo and Amy McGovern

Former AAC scholarship winner Morgan Gruer in front of her screenprints.

AAC chair Laraine Barach with Maor Cheryl Bernstein

A visitor to the reception was Craig Mierop (R), pictured in this photo with Orna Greenberg, and Nicholas and Brenda Rizzo. The Rizzos are helping print his digital file of 200 photos. We were thrilled to meet this wonderful New Jersey historian.

Brenda Rizzo presenting flower gift to Laraine Barach



Posted in All, Millburn Landmarks

Landmarks Art Show: up for 2 more weeks

Here are a few images from the installation of the 19th Annual Landmarks show, on display in the Millburn Library Gallery until October 30th. Laraine Barach, chair of the Millburn- Short Hills Art Advisory Committee,  begins planning the show one year in advance.  Placement of the artworks is based on”SCENARIOS ” created with contributing Artists submissions.

Harold Lefkowitz and Nick Rizzo

Donna Davis, Orna Greenberg, Harold Lefkowitz, and Kathi Hecht

Donna Davis, Orna Greenberg and Nick Rizzo

Orna Greenberg, Laraine Barach and Amy McGovern

Kathi Hecht’s Fused Glass on display

Laraine Barach and Amy McGovern

Orna Greenberg and Amy McGovern flanking “Market Street” by William F. Cone

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