5 festivals to present student films

Jacob Goodman

Twelve student films  will be screened at five film festivals across the country in October.

“Finding Erica Jones” directed by Natalie Markiles ’13, “Forest King” directed by Nikta Mansouri ’15 and “Righteous Conversations” directed by Rebecca Hutman ’12 and Jamie Feiler ’12 were selected for the film portion of the Tower of Youth Festival Oct. 4 in Sacramento.

“Erica Jones” and “Forest King” were also selected by the Citizen Jane Festival in Columbia, Mo. Oct. 4–6.

The Mill Valley Film Festival Oct. 12 in Larkspur, Calif. will also screen Mansouri’s other film, “Different Drummer,” which she co-created with Jessica Spitz ’15, “The Darkroom” created by students in the 2011-2010 Photo I class, “History Lesson” created by Nina Juarez ’16 along with other students in the Righteous Conversations Project and “Post  Remembrance“ created by Cosima Elwes ’15, Hana Kateman ’15 and Danielle Stolz ’15.

“I’m really proud of [both my films],” Mansouri said. “And it’s just a great opportunity and amazing recognition.”

“Friends Matter” by Sarah Jensen ’14 and Sophia Lopez ’14, “Uncomposed” directed by Molly Cinnamon ’14 and “Finding Erica Jones” were selected out of 1,000 submissions to be shown at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, which is from Oct. 25-Nov. 4.

“Post Remembrance,” “Friends Matter,” “History Lesson,” “Righteous Conversations,” “Superstition” directed by Xochi Maberry-Gaulke ’12 and Alex Moritz ’12 Cheri Gaulke

and “It’s Not Just One” directed by

Michael Kellman ’16, Kelly Morrison ’16 and Sarah McAllister ’15 will be screened as part of the All-American High School Film Festival Oct. 4-6 in New York City.

The number of acceptances this year is not abnormal, Video Art teacher and upper school visual arts department head Cheri Gaulke said.

“It’s just a testament to the quality of work that we produce,” she said. “And that work comes out of not only the school year but out of the summer film program and the Righteous Conversations Project.”
“Friends Matter,” was selected as the winner by the Human Relations Commission of the City of Beverly Hills for its contest that challenged kids across the nation to create videos in response to the prompt “Everyone plays a role in bullying….the bully, the bullied, the bystander and the person who makes a difference! What’s your take?” for this year’s Bully Prevention Month.

“Words Can Hurt” by Sophia Lopez ’14 and other Righteous Conversations Project participants was selected as the runner-up.

The students will all receive a proclamation for their work on their films from the Beverly Hills City Council Oct. 15.

The benefit of students creating these anti-bullying PSA’s is that kids are more likely to repsond to their peers, Gaulke said.

“The challenge that all of us have as adults is how to teach teenagers,” Gaulke said.  “And your best chance for teenagers to listen is that teenagers will listen to each other.”