The first Porterville Film Festival will take place Wednesday, December 1 at the Galaxy Theater in Porterville from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
It’s free and open to the public. The festival is organized and animated by the students of the Multimedia & Technology Academy of the LycÃ©e Monache.
Middle and high school students in video production from Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties were invited to enter a video competition. Almost 50 teams registered for the event, representing schools from all four counties. These include entries from Alta Sierra Intermediate, Exeter High School, Harmony Magnet Academy, Kern High School District, Lemoore High School, and Monache High School.
The students received a specific prompt and had two weeks to complete their short films. While time was limited, it was intended to give students an overview of real world situations they might encounter in the film industry; famous (or infamous) for its hectic nature. The videos produced by the students are simply phenomenal, and the best will be shown at the film festival on Wednesday.
All major film festivals have a jury that marks the videos, and the Porterville Film Festival is no different. This year’s jury includes several professionals working within and alongside the arts, media and entertainment industry. The main jury consisted of Lawrence Moran, Kyle Lowe, Kate Stover, Christina Clausen, Roger Perez, Jose Hernandez, Lillian Dissi and Kate Smith.
Lawrence Moran is a professional actor working in Hollywood known for a variety of film and television roles including Straight Outta Compton, The Mentalist and Diff’rent Strokes. Kyle Lowe is a filmmaker and producer at the Community Media Access Collaborative in Fresno. Kate Stover is the Staff Development and Curriculum Specialist for Visual, Performing and Media Arts in the Tulare County Office of Education. Christina Clausen is the director of the Porterville Chamber of Commerce. Roger Perez is Director of Communications and Community Relations at Porterville College. Jose Hernandez is a filmmaker and a graduate of the Cal State University Northridge Film Program. Lillian Dissi is a local artist, painter and graphic design trainer. Kate Smith is a member of the Barn Theater Board of Directors.
Additional video scoring was performed by staff at the Porterville Unified School District including Tammy Keith, Sonya Lopez and Raul Bermudez. Tammy Keith is the vice-principal of Monache High School. Sonya Lopez is the Technical Work Developer for PUSD’s Pathway Program. Raul Bermudez is a school counselor at the LycÃ©e Monache.
The Porterville Film Festival jury team volunteered their time to watch and mark all the videos. Most importantly, they offered positive feedback and constructive criticism for each individual video. These comments will be shared with the filmmakers after the festival in the hope that they will help students reflect on their work and improve their skills.
The December 1 event will start at 5 p.m. Members of the public are encouraged to arrive early to reserve their spot. The festival will begin with a presentation of the 10 best videos not awarded by the festival jury. These 10 videos deserve praise and attention, and they will each be eligible for the Audience Award at the Porterville Film Festival. This prize will be voted on by the spectators present and awarded the same evening.
After the audience award ceremony, the evening will feature some of the best videos made by students from the different schools that participated in the festival. These videos are not part of the competition and will serve as a celebration of student achievement, as well as an interlude while the votes are counted for the audience’s prize.
After the video presentation, the Jury Prizes will be awarded. The awards ceremony will begin with the Audience Award, followed by the First Place Award for the Middle School Division. Then come the prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for the high school division. Winners from both divisions will receive gift baskets from the Galaxy Theater, which is so graciously sponsoring the event. Special thanks go to the Galaxy Theater team, in particular to Assistant General Manager Belia Sierra.
The San Joaquin Valley has a vibrant arts community. Look no further than the Galaxy Theater in Porterville on Wednesday, December 1 at 5 p.m. The FirstPorterville Film Festival will be a fun night and a great way to support the local community. Please join us!
Bobby Styles studied film at UCLA and worked as an editor and producer on several film, commercial and music video projects in Los Angeles. He currently teaches intermediate and advanced video production courses at the Multimedia & Technology Academy at Monache High School. His column appears in The Recorder every Tuesday.