Avon Theatre Announces High School Scholarship Essay Competition: “Why film matters”

The Avon Theatre board of directors announced their 11th annual essay contest is open to public and private high school students in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

Prizes totaling $7,000 will be announced the last week in May with a special awards ceremony planned for later this summer once the theatre re opens.

Students are asked to submit a 500-700 word essay on “Why Film Matters” based on a film they have seen in a theatre or virtually that was released in 2019 or 2020.

The film can be a feature, documentary, short, American or foreign. The students are also asked to write about how film, in general, impacts our society. The deadline for submission is Friday, May 15. To download an Avon Scholarship Contest application, visit: www.avontheatre.org/education/

Each essay will be read by two independent judges, who include professional writers, script writers, media publishing executives, educators and a filmmaker. The top finalists will then be
read by two additional judges, who will select the final winners. This year our judges include:

• Stuart Adelberg: Executive Director – Avon Theatre
• Sue Baker: Retired Greenwich High School Educator
• Mimi Cohen: Retired Educator and Secondary School Administrator
• Louisa Greene: Editor and Film Festival Jurist; Director of Development – Avon Theatre
• Camilla Herrera: Communications Consultant & Former Editor of Stamford Magazine
Beth Levine: Freelance Journalist & Health Writer
• Arlene Mark: Author, Poet and Greenwich Pen Women
• Donna Moffly: Founding Editor of Moffly Media
• Jeanne Ronan: Filmmaker & Former Fairchild Publishing Editor; Director of PR – Avon Theatre
• Diane Cohen Schneider: Retired Wall Street Executive and Novelist
• Ingrid Semaan: UCONN Associate Professor of Sociology & Director of Women’s & Gender Studies

Sue Baker, Avon Board member, is chair of the Avon Education Initiative Committee that sponsors the essay contest.

Scholarship monies total $7,000 and are funded from donations to the Avon Annual Appeal.

The winners’ scholarship checks are made out to the university or college each student plans to attend. The top three Avon Scholarship winners in 2019 included:

• First Place ($2,000): Alexandra Watkinson, Westhill High School — College of William and Mary
• Second Place ($1,500): Jeremy Fertig Shore, Greenwich High School — Duke University
• Third Place ($1,000): Hannah Nekritz, Westhill High School – Brandeis University

The Avon Theatre Film Center is a community-supported non-profit first run art house showcasing the best in independent, foreign, classic, documentary, and cult classic films. The Avon, a Bedford Street landmark, has been restored to its original 1939 vintage appearance and is celebrating over 80 years of timeless elegance. As part of its mission, the Avon is dedicated to teaching educators and students about film as an art form.

Throughout the school year, the Avon welcomes students to view films that enhance their curriculum. In February Stamford and Westhill High students and educators saw the documentary When Harlem Saved a King. The filmmakers Al and Janet Cohen donated a free screening and hosted a riveting post-film Q & A with the students.