Student shorts entertain at Media Arts screening

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

The Media Arts Department held a screening for student films that were composed in a semester, faculty and students were excited to show off their work.

By Meg Taylor, News Editor 

Gasps, giggles and applause filled Valley College’s music recital hall Saturday night as an array of genres were projected on the screen throughout 73 short student films.

The roughly two-and-a-half hour event is a 20-year-old tradition of the Media Arts Department. Faculty, family, and friends celebrated student work from this past year. The evening consisted of student films from the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Cinema 101 and Media Arts 101 classes as well as the Spring 2018 Cinema 125 class.

“This year’s event was a great success,” said Eric Swelstad, chairman of the media arts department. “This year’s event stands out because of the diversity of films and filmmakers. We love having such a wonderfully rich plethora of projects that showcase our students filmmaking abilities.”

The screening was packed with an audience who seemed to appreciate the work. Each piece excelled in different areas; some pieces featured funny dialogue whereas the silent films were scored with beautiful or haunting music. With only one semester to create their films, the cinema and media arts students delivered exceptional work.

“I am typically very proud at the end of every semester of the films that I oversaw,” said Chad Sustin, profesor of Cinema 125. “Look at that body of work, how could you not be proud of that?”

Each of the 101 student films lasted approximately 1 min 35 sec. The spring 2018 advanced film production course, Cinema 125, featured lengthier pieces that clearly demonstrated their progression. Along with the development of the student’s skill from Cinema 101 to 125 came an ample workload.

“Every week there were like four deliverables. It was very stressful,” said director of the final piece “Farewell”, Cinema 125 student David Valdes. “I wasn’t even there for the last few classes but I got it done!”

Although the process of creating a short film is stressful, the media arts department encourages students to support each other and work together. There were students who appeared in multiple films and similar names arose in the end credits.

“I think here at LAVC we’re all on a journey to make connections and really find those people who are gonna be working together,” said student filmmaker Ulysses Julio. “I think these events really show who shows up and who gets to show their films for their family and friends and just be proud of their product for an audience and we need an audience.”

More than a handful of Valley students were selected by the major media company Canon amongst several schools for Canon’s College Short Film Night. Valley had more student representation than any other school in California. The students recognized by Canon are Kristen Schumacher, Kevin Boyd, Helia Behrooz, Michele Raymond, Todd Blankenship, Shahab Mirmiran, Charles Brown, and Douglas Cox.

“We went to see their films streamed at the Canon Technology Center in Burbank,” said Arantxa Rodriguez, professor of Media Arts 101. “It was a great experience. What can I say, we rock.”