Monarchs Filmmakers Get Exposure

Valley College holds annual Student Screening Showcase.

by: Paul Frumkin, Staff Writer


Valley College held the Annual Student Showcase at the Recital Hall in the Music building on Saturday, March 29. Doors opened at 6:00 p.m. and the showcase began half an hour later.

Cinema/Media Arts professor Arantxa Rodriguez and Cinema/Media Arts Adjunct professor Chad Sustin both organized the event. “We are very excited about having a very comprehensive program,” said Professor Rodriguez.

According to Eric Swelstad, Media Arts Department chair, this event was put together by the Media Arts department at Valley. All this happened over the course of a couple weeks, compiling materials and getting people to participate. Of the 140 people expected to attend, most were in attendance.

“We’re very proud of our students that worked hard on their projects these semesters to make them presentable for the screenings tonight,” said Swelstad. “And we’re very proud of our students, the work that they do in all their classes, and this is a chance for the community and the college to see the work the students do and to give back and show them the hard work and effort that they put into their projects,” said Swelstad

The events started with Swelstad, Media Arts professor Jennifer Penton, and professor Rodriguez making opening statements. Laurie Nalepa, Dean of Career and Technical Education, said “when you win your Academy Awards, you have to thank Valley College.”

The diverse showcase displayed films that demonstrated students’ skills in editing video and sound, acting, music, and animation. The films were creatively done, with their own combinations of wit, humor, and emotion.

Some films were mainly driven by music, and did not have much dialogue. The films had many styles of music such as classical, ragtime, and rock. Other films featured more dialogue while others consolidated the two.

Students and alumni came to support their fellow filmmakers, some in t-shirts and others in dress shirts and ties. Shane Schwartz, alumni and director of the film “A Writer’s Brain,” said, “it’s really awesome watching my fellow filmmakers participate in the film festival. Some were a little confusing, but others were really, really awesome.”

Some students brought guests with them. Gerald Ruiz, an English major and actor from “A Writer’s Brain,” brought his girlfriend and LAVC alumni Rocio Benites. “I wanted to see my film portrayed up on the screen,” said Ruiz. “It was really awesome to be able to actually see all the other performers and myself.”

Your thoughts?