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The Best Drone Videos and Photos from the First Boston Drone Film Festival — From Extreme Sports to Extravagant Landscapes

BY Isabella Lee
4 December 2019

From base jumpers to parkour athletes, to dives inside an abandoned power plant, the first run of the Boston Drone Film Festival (BOSDFF) was nothing short of exhilarating. We share the Grand Prize Winner’s video and other category winners below.

Boston Drone Film Festival

Guests of the first Boston Drone Film Festival attended panels, workshops, FPV demos, and an Alta X and Alta 6 test flight during the Day 2 Drone Camp. Image Source: BOSDFF.

BOSDFF took place for the first time on November 15th and 16th. The festival kicked-off on night one with a VIP Cocktail party, prior to the Film Screening and Awards Ceremony at Boston’s public radio station WGBH. Guests also got to check out founding sponsor Above Summit’s 360 photography display booth and Red cinema cam (provided by LensProToGo), attached to their new Alta X heavy lift drone.

On day two, attendees took part in Drone Camp, which featured workshops, panels, and demonstrations from drone industry professionals. Attendees had opportunities to network with the pros and learn about the Part 107 license, while cine-whoop drones swerved overhead during the FPV demo inside the 4,800 sq foot Allston cyclorama studio.

FPV Drone Pilot Takes the Grand Prize at Boston Drone Film Festival

Grand Prize Winner, Jan Verhaeren, and his partners Chris Teal and Spencer Jensen make up the Colorado-based drone group, Drone Co. The crew began flying drones only three years ago. Jan began gaining widespread recognition in the first-person view (FPV) drone community when he started sharing action-packed FPV videos of extreme sports and epic landscapes on his YouTube channel.

“This is pretty awesome. We didn’t think we’d be doing any of this — the local guys that I flew with, Spencer Jensen and Chris Teal. We put the edit together and we’ve done a lot of extreme sports over the years. This is really neat to be able to get out and show something to you guys. So, thank you,” said Jan Verhaeren while accepting the award on behalf of Drone Co. at the BOSDFF Film Screening and Awards Ceremony.

Their winning film Suspended is a thrill to watch:

SPORTS NOMINEE - Suspended by Jan Verhaeren (VerJan FPV + Drone Co)

The festival partnered with brands such as Autel Robotics, LensPro-ToGo, Pelican, and Soundstripe to put together impressive prize packages. The Grand Prize was a 10-day trip, sponsored by Anker and Autel Robotics. Jan and his partners from Drone Co., alongside the Above Summit crew, will adventure, hike and fly quads on an expedition through the Southwest, USA, capturing the natural beauty and jaw-dropping landscapes the journey has to offer.

Winning Photos from the Boston Drone Film Festival

In addition to film, drone photography was also highlighted during the festival. As with the winning videos, the winning photos were chosen by a jury composed of 16 creative minds ranging from producers, directors, writers, aerial photographers/videographers, professional drone pilots, FPV drone racers, CEO’s of two women-owned and operated drone education companies, Chief of Staff at Vice Media, and many other talented industry leaders.

Let’s take a look at the winners:

360 Photography – Michael Maschek, A 360 of Notre Dame on Fire

Drone Photography Winner - Boston in 360

Michael Maschek used a DJI Spark to capture this haunting photo of Notre Dame when it caught fire in April 2019. “This photo was taken at about 7:50 PM the 15th of April. Notre Dame was burning since one hour. The tiled roof has disappeared and firemen are in action as you may see on the picture dropping water on the flames,” said Maschek when describing the photo.

Architecture Photography – Vitaly Golovatyuk, Not a Small HK Island

Vitaly Golovatyuk used a DJI Phantom 4 Pro to take this photo on a Hong Kong island. The photo consists of 44 photos stitched together.

Crowd Favorite (Photo) – John Francis, Boston in 360

BOSDFF Photo Crowd Favorite

John Francis used a DJI Mavic 2 Pro to take this photo in Boston, MA. He describes the photo as an experience of “blue hour” over the neighborhood of Back Bay.

Nature Photography – Michael Bishop, The Tree of Life

BOSDFF Photo Nature

Michael Bishop used a Phantom 4 Pro to capture this dreamy photograph of a glacial river in Iceland. It was taken on an expedition along with guide and photographer Donal Boyd. Bishop points out the tiny dot on the bridge as his car for reference for how monumentally large the river mouth was.

Boston Drone Film Festival Category Winners Represent International Drone Community

The category winners represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experience levels within the industry. The nominees and winners are from the United States – Georgia, Utah, New Hampshire, California, etc, and around the globe – Australia, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, Greece and more.

Filmmaker and winner of the Landscape Category, Bashir Abu Shakra, is a student at the University of Munich, Germany. His film 2 Years in the Dolomiti showcases his two-year, solo hiking expedition through the Italian Dolomites.

LANDSCAPE NOMINEE - 2 Years in the Dolomiti by Bashir Abu Shakra

Guests showed their support for filmmakers and photographers by voting for the People’s Choice Award for film and Crowd Favorite Photo. Category winners were awarded with a prize package featuring memberships, gear, and equipment from festival sponsors, in addition to a signature BOSDFF metallic prop, engraved with their name.

Get inspired and spend some time checking out the amazing work from the category winners on the BOSDFF website:

  • Cinematic FPV – Lukasz Lewenda, Slow Burn
  • Showreel – Jordan Overman, ONLY.GOING.UP
  • Urban – Noel Thomas, Hong Kong Dissonance
  • Sports – Jan Verhaeren, Suspended
  • Film-Editing – Athanasia Lykoudi Nestoras Kechagias, Ice Ballet
  • Single Take – Vince Irie, Ocean Waterfall
  • Documentary – John Gussman, Semper Paratus
  • Freestyle FPV – Benoit Finck, The Parkour Loop
  • Student Film – Jacob Chang-Rascle, Colors of France
  • Landscape – Bashir Abu Shakra, 2 Years in Dolomiti
  • People’s Choice Award (Film) – Tyler Chauncey, DIESEL

Which photo or video from the Boston Drone Film Festival was your favorite or inspired you most? Join the conversation here on our community forum where drone pilots gather to discuss their latest projects, talk shop, and network.

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