In one night, with one five -hour event, the City College Film Society hosted the first San Diego Student Film Festival which took place at the Saville Theatre on April 26.
More than 100 people were in attendance.
“Millions of dollars are spent each year on the equipment and supplies to create these films that usually just get turned into their class for a grade, now there is a venue to showcase all of this work,” said Paul Giret, the film society’s president and the festival’s director. “It’s a great opportunity for all of the student filmmakers to come together once a year and share their best work with each other and the public.”
Around $1,600 was spent to hold the festival. An additional $1,000 was given out to winning filmmakers.
While over 65 applicants submitted their works only 16 films made it into the top tier of judging.
Categories included music video, documentary and interview, short fiction film, as well as commercials, promos and PSA.
“Sarra and Erric” was the first place $400 winner for short fiction film. This film was from San Diego State University’s Hilary Andrews.
City film student John Freeman took first place in PSA and commercials for the piece “Carolina Hererra”.
Magdalena Ramirez, an SDSU student, took first place in the music video category for “La Monedita.”.
“I admire the work that came out of all these different schools. I admire all the other films and I highly respect all the other filmmakers,” said Ramirez.
City’s Film Society produced “Point of Infection” a short zombie movie funded by the Associated Student Government. It was a clear definition of the talent of City students and what they have to offer.
The festival not only provided a common meeting ground for student filmmakers of all kinds, but also a moment of cultural immersion.
Joseph Hong, who is a student from Korea, said the event was a whole new experience for him.
“It was a great opportunity to see my country from a different perspective. There are big differences between the cultures. They take it very seriously here in college.” said Hong.
The top tier judges at the film festival included Devin and Jeanne Scott of the American Dream Cinema, a full service production company located in San Diego that has produced several award winning short films and more than 300 television commercials.
The festival showcased work by students from all over the county and provided a way for many local filmmakers to expand their knowledge and identify with other filmmakers of the region.
Ethan van Thillo, founder and executive director of the Media Arts Center of San Diego was one of the keynote speakers at the film festival.
“Student film festivals are important opportunities for emerging filmmakers to gain the much needed experience of screening their work in front of an audience, on the big screen,” said van Thillo.
“For many students, this might be the first time that they have had the opportunity to get feedback about their work from people other than their family and friends.
“This feedback is an important chance to learn and continue to build upon their filmmaking skills.
“I applaud the organizers for taking the time to organize such a great event.”
With a large crowd of young energetic and eclectic filmmakers supporting one another in the work they all submitted, it was easy to see the importance holding the festival.
The student film festival will become an annual event, opening many doors to San Diego’s talented filmmakers.