5 films to be screened in Archer, SoCal festivals

Sophie Cohen

One student film was accepted into the fourth annual Archer Film Festival, and five student films were accepted to the 2015 SoCal Student Film Festival.

The Archer Film Festival will take place at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the AMC Westfield Century City.

The event will feature a gala film screening with an address from a keynote speaker. Among the films being screened tonight will be “Reweaving: Rwanda After Rape,” which was written and directed by Katherine Calvert ’15.

Calvert’s mini-documentary was a product of the digital storytelling trip to Rwanda.

Her film explores how rape has been used as a tool of fear and intimidation for thousands of years, but has only been considered an official weapon of war since the 1990s.

Since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, during which 250,000 to 500,000 women were raped, according to the Women Under Seige Project, women have been working to heal themselves and have assumed significant leadership roles in the country. Women now account for 60 percent of representatives in the Rwandan congress, Upper School Visual Arts Department Head Cheri Gaulke said.

“I feel honored whenever my film gets any recognition,” Calvert said. “I was just so moved by the story and wanted to tell it to the best of my ability so whenever I see that there will be an opportunity for it to be seen, I am touched.”

Another film that will be featured is a product of the Harvard-Westlake summer program where students learned about domestic violence and made public service announcements.

The film, produced by non-Harvard-Westlake students called “Curt Lowens: A Life of Changes,” is the story of a Holocaust survivor who joined the resistance movement against the Nazis in World War II at age 17.

Harvard-Westlake Video Art I, II and III students will attend an industry panel on April 30 at Archer School. Panel topics include breaking into the business, women in film and the future of television.

The panel allows students, teachers and filmmakers to learn from cinematic veterans.

The 2015 SoCal Film Festival on May 2 at 4 p.m. at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine will screen “Reweaving: Rwanda after Rape” and “Curt Lowens: A Life of Changes.”

The festival will feature films such as “Cut the Tall Trees: The Killing Power of Words,” “The Monster Within” and “Trauma You Don’t See.”

“Cut the Tall Trees: The Killing Power of Words,” written and produced by Max Cho ’15 and Noah Bennett’ 15 was also filmed during the digital storytelling trip to Rwanda.

Based on the bloody conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis, the film features footage of Paul Rusesabagina, whose story was told by the movie “Hotel Rwanda” and explores how words can foment violence.

“Monster Within” was produced during the Harvard-Westlake Summer Film Program, and filmmakers Angela Chon ’16 and Dora Schoenberg ’16 worked in collaboration with non-Harvard-Westlake students on this film. Based on a Native American story, “Monster’s Within” is an animated film focusing on how every person has two sides that are in constant conflict; one that is nurturing and one that is violent.

“Trauma” was created by Su Jin Nam ’16, William Park ’17 and Erin Lee ’18 along with students from other schools. The film focuses on the emotional and physiological toll domestic violence can have on children. The film features an illustration of a student spaced out and suggests that they may be dealing with the physiological effects of domestic violence.