Film festival competition returns

By Jake Cassaday - Staff Reporter

If you've ever aspired to be the next Stephen Spielberg, your first step might be the second annual Highline Film Festival. 

The competition is right around the corner, requires no experience to compete or win, and can land some cash in your pocket.

With a first place prize of $250 and lesser amounts for runner up and third place, Susan Rich, an english instructor and the film festival co-director said, "anyone can make an appearance and take home first place."

Submissions are due on Jan. 26, 2018. The festival itself will be on Feb. 14. Entrants can submit their projects through a customized canvas page.

The theme for this year's film festival will be transformation (change). Each group working on submissions must have at least one person actually registered as a student at Highline.

The Highline Film Festival was conceived as an official organized event of the Film Club years ago at Highline. It was conceived to inspire students to step out of their comfort zones and exhibit their projects and videography. 

Last year was the first official festival competition. The winner last year, Kelsey Par, had zero experience making videos and her victory inspired her to pursue a career in videography. She now works in California helping organize commercials for television.

Students will be given a topic to film about. They're given a specific time window in which they have to make the film, and the videos must be two-and-a-half to eight minutes long. Films are typically collaborations with multiple students, although contestants can also take the solo route.

Rich said she is extremely excited for this year's competition. 

"It's open to anyone, and last year we had a great turnout of an audience and over a dozen competitors," Rich said.

Sean Puno, a project manager in the Arts and Humanities Division, said he's most excited for this year's festival because of the "tech opportunities that are more available to students this year with the brand new Mac computers that we got."

"[The Macs] are faster and more reliable than the old computers we had last year," he said.  "Our new cameras are 4K and always getting better."

Puno said he expects a lot more participation this year because of the impression made by last year's festival.

"The goal is to bring these kids into a community and showcase their creativity through film. By the fourth or fifth annual film festival, it'll be huge," Puno said.

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