Another Film Festival has come and gone, and this year was absolutely spectacular. One of the greatest things about watching our festival grow every year, is that the students are constantly outdoing themselves, pushing to improve over the previous years entries. This year was no exception, and I wonder if films that won awards in our first year would even be considered in our fourth. Its getting to the point where I wonder how much better these films can get before we have to charge Hollywood producers admission. Speaking of which, if you're a producer looking for young talent - come to Shanghai, I've got some films to show you.
This year was also special for a number of reasons. We premiered the inaugural EARCOS Asia Film Festival, inviting special guests from Beijing, Seoul, and Hangzhou. With our new friends from across the region, we expanded the festival into two days. On the first day, the students participated in an 8 hour film challenge. In randomly assigned groups with students from other schools, they conceived, shot, and edited their short films all within 8 hours in a trip downtown to People's Park.
That evening, we watched Touching Home and had a great question and answer session with the director/producer/writer/actor team behind the film, Logan and Noah Miller. Following that, the students talked to Hammond Peek, the sound mixer on Lord of the Rings and King Kong, and our festival's first Academy Award winning guest (above is a picture of my students with Hammond and his friend, Oscar). We then screened the 8 hour challenge films and had student and faculty led film making workshops throughout the afternoon.
Here are some more images from throughout the day. Note that any images of kids or teachers with black eyes, exposed bones, and gaping wounds are products of our terrific 'film make-up' workshop, and not documentation of a zombie attack.
The evening was dedicated to celebrating the amazing student work. I'll post more over the next few days, but will start with a personal favorite. Last year, my student Hearin knocked everyone's socks off with her film, The Box. This year, her film Cookies demonstrated her amazing talents through a very different genre: