Five festivals award student shorts, documentaries, class projects

By David Lim

Student films were accepted into local and national film festivals this month where they won several awards.

Five festivals accepted the work of filmmakers from the Video Art classes and the Summer Film Camp, which also included non-Harvard-Westlake students. Video art teacher Cheri Gaulke and art teachers Kevin O’Malley and Nancy Popp guided the students through the submission process.

“These festivals are highly competitive,” Gaulke said. “What it means is that we have one of the best youth film programs in the country.”

At the Newport Beach Festival earlier this month, “TADAA,” a film about “building a connection between teenagers and adults with developmental disabilities” at a volunteer program, won best documentary. Video Art II students Jamie Feiler ’12 and Nora Kroopf ’12 filmed the documentary as an independent project in the summer.

Many of the films that received awards were made during the Summer Film Camp, run by Gaulke and animator Rachel Johnson.

“SEE,” produced at SFC by Molly Cinnamon ’14 and Miranda Kasher, who attends Milburn Senior High School, won multiple awards at the Newport Beach Festival and the Westport Film Festival in Connecticut.

SFC and Video Art projects also won awards at the local South Bay Film Festival and CineYouth Festival.

“SEE” and the Video Art II project “If Cell Phones Ruled the World” were admitted to the Los Angeles Film Festival, which is a qualifying festival for Film Independent Spirit Awards.