2015 WHYY Youth Media Awards

The WHYY Youth Media Awards honors the best media produced by youth in grades 6-12 in the Philadelphia region. For the 2015 YMA's, WHYY received nearly 150 entries from students in grades 6-12 in four categories: documentary, news report, narrative, and open.


Special Awards

PECO Judges' Awards

These films were selected as the best of the fest. In addition to receiving recognition in their individual categories, they were chosen by the judges as the standout films for their commitment to storytelling, technical proficiency, and intangible greatness.


First Place: Escape Velocity — Produced by James Tralie, Noah Headley, Yiheng Chen, Upper Dublin High School

Tied for Second Place: Strangely Personal — Produced by Marykate Santalucia, Henderson High School, and The Private Crimes of Casey James — Produced by Robert Hass and Hannah Lebowitz-Lockard, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy




Special Achievement

Two students were honored with Special Achievement Awards, recognizing their excellence in filmmaking over the past five years. These two students are the only young filmmakers to have movies feature at the WHYY Youth Media Awards every year since the program’s creation.


Kris Theorin — PA Leadership Charter School
James Tralie — Upper Dublin High School


Documentary Category

First Place: Student Loan Debt: A Burden on America's Scholars — Produced by Madeline Bowne, Philadelphia High School East

Second Place: The Tech Generation Gives Back — Produced by James Tralie, Upper Dublin High School

Third Place: Strangely Personal — Produced by Marykate Santalucia, Henderson High School



News Report Category

First Place: National Veterans Wheelchair Games Comes to Philly — Produced by Ana Axmann, Paul Liermann, Joshua DeSouza, Sruthi Srinivasan, WHYY Young Journalists Camp

Second Place: Bookstores Support Niche Communities — Produced by Pearl Ramke, Gus Madden, Kristin Bethea, Matthew Knowlton, WHYY Young Journalists Camp

Third Place: Pitbulls — Produced by Mallory Watts, Isaac Freedman, John O’Brien-Wall, Maddie Williams-Koester, Sabine Ostinvil, WHYY Young Journalists



Narrative Category

First Place: The Private Crimes of Casey James — Produced by Robert Hass and Hannah Lebowitz-Lockard, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

Second Place: Cookie Jar — Produced by Mallory Watts, Mickey O’Leary, Lanazah Sullivan, Gabe Goldberg, Toby Richter, Tim Peterson, Sara Renner, Michael Hahn, Isaiah Coplon, WHYY Film Academy

Third Place: Preparation — Produced by Devin Bannerman, Roxborough High School



Open Category

First Place: Escape Velocity — Produced by James Tralie, Noah Headley, Yiheng Chen, Upper Dublin High School

Second Place: The Senioritis Cure — Produced by Justin Asaraf, Upper Dublin High School

Third Place: The Mirror — Produced by Leanna Culver, GCIT



Middle School Category

First Place: ASN Pocono Grand Prix — Produced by Tucker Coccodrilli, Wissahickon Middle School

Second Place: Comedy, Center Stage — Produced by Chiara Boye, Elias Reed, Gabriella Miko, Thomas Shaw, Ariel Shweiki, WHYY Spring Break Journalism Camp

Third Place: What is Talent? — Produced by Julian Young, David Johnston, Donnae Deigh, Imani Williams, Isabel Snyder, WHYY Middle School Camp



Screened out of Competition

Alien Communications — Produced by Kris Theorin, PA Leadership Charter School