Film festival showcases college filmmaking talent
By Elisabetta Silvestro
The fourth annual Festival of the Moving Image, presented by the City College Cinema and Broadcast Electronic Media Arts departments, showcased selected works from the students’ short movies from the past year and a half.
The festival was organized by the students of the Cinema 170 class, a work experience course coordinated by teacher Trina Lopez. The event was held at the Mission District’s historical Roxie Theater on Nov. 20.
The 40 short films were presented in two different shows, one at 7 p.m. and one at 8:45 p.m. They ranged from ten-second IDTV (the college’s own TV show) bumpers, to 12-minute more elaborate short movies.
The selection included the winners of the past City Shorts Film Festival and was handpicked by the heads of the BEMA and Cinema departments.
“You’re about to see the best of the best,” student Carlos Sandoval said, introducing the first screening.
The themes were diverse, many were documentaries about San Francisco or City College people, activities, issues and history. Others were fiction, from comedy, to drama and horror.
“Harvest: A Season on Alemany Farm,” by Ivan Moore, told the story of a sustainable, small-scale farming season. The film showed, through the volunteers’ voices and stories, the whole process, from the planting to the final harvest. It reminded viewers of an attachment to nature that is rare these days.
“Sticky,” by Candace Bernard, was a ’90s-set, very pink, comedy-horror movie involving girls, obsession and bubble gum. From the framing to the acting, this film was dreamy, entertaining and could have easily come from a more mature director.
“The Monkey Movie,” by Jamie Sharp, was a 5-minute action-comedy involving a blue gorilla and a man, played by Sharp himself. The characters find themselves in a mad chase through the streets of the city to end with a funny revelation.
Sharp is now in his fourth semester at City College, as a cinema major, and dreams to transfer to New York University.
“Maybe I’ll make my first feature there,” he said.
To make his first film, “The Monkey Movie,” he spent three months pre-producing, four days shooting and three weeks editing.
The movies were professionally done in every aspect and revealed, to those unfamiliar with the departments, the promising talents of our college.
The screenings were followed by an after party at the Pork Store Cafe across the street, where the organizers offered sandwiches and entertained the attendees with music and a raffle.
Bryden White, from the Cinema 170 class, said they learned “every facet that would go into organizing a film festival,” such as deciding the movies’ order, developing ideas for the posters’ graphics and publicizing the event.
“Between the two departments you can learn a lot (about making films,)” White said.
An important part of the organization was funding the event. The Kickstarter campaign created by Lopez was backed by 22 supporters and raised $1,002, almost $500 more than the goal.
Lopez has taught at City College for eight years but this was her first time coordinating the Cinema 170 class.
“It’s been a steep learning curve,” Lopez said about her experience. “I’m feeling good about it.”
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