BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds and rapper Vanilla Ice teamed up to recognize local filmmakers at the 22nd Annual Student Showcase of Films on Friday.
Critically acclaimed actor and director Burt Reynolds continues to support the film competition, which paid tribute to talented Florida high school and college students aspiring to work in the film industry.
"I was one of them once," he said.
The “Smokey and Bandit” star awarded his Burt Reynolds Scholarship for $2,500 to Matthew Nadel, a student at A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. “I hope they all go on and do well. I'm sure they will. They're wonderful kids,” Reynolds added.
Over 700 students poured into the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University to see which submissions earned the top spots.
16-year-old Arielle Dauch won first place in the Commercial/PSA category and proudly represented Spanish River High School at the ceremony. “It just shows that hard work pays off,” she said.
90’s rapper and TV reality star Vanilla Ice (born Robert Van Winkle) also took to the red carpet to pose with fans and meet emerging filmmakers. “I’m honored to be here,” he said.
"There's so much talent around that, you know, without an avenue or anything going on, they're just sitting, marinating, waiting for something to happen,” Van Winkle explained. “So this is the avenue for them to get up, get out and get it going."
In the span of two decades, the Annual Student Showcase of Films has awarded scholarships to local filmmakers, writers and graphic artists totaling over 1.5 million dollars.
Winning student films will also be screened in their entirety on the “big screen” at the students’ own premiere during Palm Beach International Film Festival March 29, 2017 – April 2, 2017.