The best of the west: students to hold annual film festival

The best of the west: students to hold annual film festival

MOVIE MAGIC: The documentary “Embargo on Love” follows a young, female filmmaker who uses her camera to bring love to the once forbidden island of Cuba. The scene shows a man playing his trombone. Printed with permission of Cheri Gaulke

The WestFlix Film Festival will screen 15 student films at the ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood March 18.

The festival celebrates the work of teen film directors and producers from across California.

The event will occur from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Presentations will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This year, festival directors renamed the “Harvard-Westlake Film Festival” as “WestFlix” to avoid confusion over requirements for film submissions.

In “Lamplight”, a boy struggles to sleep while confronted by issues at home and school. Printed with permission of Cheri Gaulke
In “Lamplight”, a boy struggles to sleep while confronted by issues at home and school. Printed with permission of Cheri Gaulke

Screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin (Roxy ’19) will give a presentation as the festival’s guest speaker. Sorkin’s critically praised works include “The West Wing,” “Moneyball” and “Steve Jobs.”

“I am really interested in what he has to say on his writing process and how writing feature films is different than writing shorts,” Shannon Schack ’16 said.

Following Sorkin’s presentation about screenwriting and his career, student films from 13 schools and programs will be screened.
There were 219 total submissions.

The student films are from programs such as the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Echo Park Film Center and the Orange County School of the Arts.

In the music video for “Astro, Naught” by Moollz, a woman takes to the skies in her quirky quest to find love. Printed with permission of Cheri Gaulke
In the music video for “Astro, Naught” by Moollz, a woman takes to the skies in her quirky quest to find love. Printed with permission of Cheri Gaulke

The films cover an array of topics, from lottery numbers to serial murder.

Five of the chosen movies were produced by Harvard-Westlake students: “Astro, Naught” by Sacha Lin ’16 and Katie Speare ’16, “Embargo on Love” by Lauren Rothman ’17, “Lamplight” by Jared Gentile ’16, “When a Man Texts a Woman” by Jack Stovitz ’16 and “The Story of Three Rings: A Memoir of Dana Schwartz” by Elly Hong ’17, Dora Schoenberg ’16 and three students from Immaculate Heart and John Adams Middle School.

This year’s festival directors are Jack Stovitz ’16, Jenna Thompson ’16, Tiana Coles ’16, Javier Arango ’16 and Shannyn Shack ’16.
They were responsible for organizing the event and narrowing the submissions down to the 15 films that will be featured. Students will have the opportunity to converse about their work with other students and learn about the industry from workshops led by professionals.

ON THE BIG SCREEN: In “When a Man Texts a Woman”, a boy attempts to find love in modern society. Printed with permission of Cheri Gaulke
In “When a Man Texts a Woman”, a boy attempts to find love in modern society. Printed with permission of Cheri Gaulke

“I am most looking forward to seeing the other filmmakers’ films because it is fun to see your own film on the big screen, but it is also fun to see what other people have created,” Schoenberg said. “I find it really interesting how all films are so different and what everyone comes up with.”
There will be a cinematography workshop led by Lance Acord, who worked on “Lost in Translation” and “Where the Wild Things Are.” A producing workshop led by either Alexandra Milchan, who produced “Wolf of Wall Street,” or her husband, Scott Lambert, who produced “The Fighter,” will also be offered.

“I hope that with WestFlix, we are able to create an environment in which the talented and diverse group of filmmakers we have assembled are able to both be rewarded for their work and to learn from the work of others,” Arango said.

Additional reporting by Aaron Park ’18 and Kitty Luo ’18

You must be logged in to post a comment Login