Glendale film festival spotlights student works

In what's called "The Best Student Film Festival Ever," an event on Friday at the Sparr Heights Community Center will feature the works of 15 local students from Glendale and La Cañada schools.

The young filmmakers behind the projects created their short movies outside of class, with no set rules, except they can't film anything inappropriate.

Organizers behind the festival – Chris Vinan and Ebner De Torres – are both 2012 graduates of Crescenta Valley High School now studying film at Temple University in Philadelphia and Cal State, Northridge, respectively.

The two 18-year-olds hosted the festival for the first time last year as a way to showcase local students' work beyond their close circles of friends, who usually showcase their work on YouTube.

"It's a way of getting their name out," Vinan said. "That was the whole point of the event."

Vinan considers one of the funniest entries this year to be a film created by 17-year-old Crescenta Valley High student Nahuel Villar about a man trying to raise enough money to put on a scooter competition.

"He's kind of a traveling man — in a sense, homeless," Villar said of his main character. "His passion is scootering."

In a film made by 12-year-old Daniel Stumps, the characters read from a comic book and then live as if the comic book has become their reality.

DeTorres said he's impressed with this year's crop of entries.

"What surprises me is how good the films are," he said. "When we were that age, I doubt we could do anything that they did."

Dozens of local businesses have pitched in to provide food and drinks for participants. Between screenings of the 15 shorts, there will be live musical entertainment, staged skits and raffle drawings for prizes, including a Kindle e-reader.

Those who attend will be asked to vote for their favorite films. The three that get the most votes will be screened at the Montrose Film Festival in late August.

The Best Student Film Festival Ever takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. July 12 at the Sparr Heights Community Center, 1613 Glencoe Way. Admission is $2 admission per person.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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