Skip To ContentSkip To Content
    Posted on //
    Photo of SoltesWylie Soltes, a senior in Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program, has been awarded Finalist in Cinematic Arts by the National YoungArts Foundation for his short film Richard. Finalist is the top prize.

    The YoungArts program identifies and supports young talent in the areas of music, theater, visual arts, dance, photography, writing, and cinematic arts. Soltes’s film was selected from thousands of submissions through a blind adjudication process by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists.

    After high school, Soltes plans to study film production in college. He pitched Richard to his filmmaking class last winter. The story concerns a stolen tool kit that creates a bond between two adversaries. Stoles worked with co-producers Ethan Hawthorne-Dallas, Aaron Mamaril, and Ian Colbeck to realize his vision. Richard had its premiere at the international All American High School Film Festival in New York City in early October, and screened at the Portland Art Museum in November as a winner in Fresh Film Northwest – a festival that receives competition from 5 Northwest states as well as the province of British Columbia. Richard can now be seen online at

    As a Finalist, YoungArts will fly Soltes to Miami in January for a week of networking and mentoring with other promising young filmmakers and professionals (such as award-winning director, producer, editor, writer, and cinematographer Doug Blush). In addition, Soltes will be sharing his film with the public at Miami’s New World Center. YoungArts will also provide Soltes with financial assistance for college.

    Soltes is the eighth YoungArts winner from Ballard’s Digital Filmmaking Program in the last five years. Others have gone on to top-ranked college programs for film and television. For more information on the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program, visit