Young filmmaker Amanda Bautista of Plainsboro recently had her film, �New Horizons,� screened at the Rabbet Gallery in New Brunswick. It was her final project for the Pixel Nation program she participated in through Young Audiences New Jersey.##M:[more]##

The two-week program introduces films to the students followed by discussion of how they see films and what makes a film. They write a script, and with the help of professionals, Macintosh computers, and cameras, they add titles and special effects. According to the press release, �The program focuses on teaching the students the art of movie making � from storyboarding to filming to editing and final production, all using state-of-the art equipment and software.�

Bautista, 16, is a rising junior at Notre Dame High School. She is a skilled visual artist, specializing in drawing and illustration, and has an interest in pursuing new media, sculpting, and painting.

�Amanda conceptualized her movie, filmed all shots, added her own illustrations, and edited the film for final production in Final Cut Pro,� says Jaymie Stein, the community programs coordinator at Young Audiences. �She utilized a green screen to create some very wonderful, layered effects in the film.� Bautista also created two experimental films during the program.

Bautista, who has been studying film production for five years, learned the green screen technique with Pixel Nation. She began with Pixel Nation as a camp project and then studied videomaking on computers on Saturdays.

Bautista fit random photos she had taken in New York, Plainsboro, and outdoors into her video. She drew pictures with green paint and put shots in the background to make it look as if she�s painting birds, a road, or a forest. �I had to modify it and I am happy with it,� she says. �This was more experimental than before.�

�Drawing and visual arts are my main thing,� she says. �I�m getting interested in art because I like to draw and paint watercolors and acrylics. I�m always doodling.�

Born in New York City, the family lived in Kingston before moving to Plainsboro six years ago. She graduated from St. Paul�s in Princeton and is a rising junior at Notre Dame.

Her father, Raynaldo, is a banker. Her mother, Sholeh Rezazadeh, is a teacher�s assistant in a Plainsboro pre-school. Her brother Alex graduated from Notre Dame and is a business major at Rutgers.

�I�m thinking of majoring in some type of art,� she says. �I find animation fascinating and I enjoy video arts.� Later this summer she is taking a program at Rider through ID Tech in animation and web design.

Bautista, an intern with YA, recently served as a mentor in Pixel Gurlz, a film-making program for 13-year old girls focused on issues affecting young women. �I answered questions and advised the girls,� she says. �I can help them achieve what they want.� Bautista also taught them how to use stop frame animation. �They are making their own documentaries about women and how they are being exploited,� she says.

�The program is so great for young girls as it focuses on how the media portrays women and how women overcome obstacles in their way,� says Stein. �We look at it from a different prospective and then the group creates a project that affected them.�

Young Audiences, located in Plainsboro, will run a two-week Pixel Nation program in the fall. For information about the program call 609-243-9000 or visit