HESPERIA — Cinema West of Hesperia was filled with families Tuesday evening for the first ever “I Can Film Festival” featuring student-made films and documentaries.
After walking the red carpet leading up to the theater, students, staff and parents from various local schools took their seats to watch the student productions.
Hesperia Unified School District created the event to provide the opportunity for students to use technology provided to them combined with their own creativity, officials told the Daily Press.
“Our whole goal was to focus on imagination,” HUSD Superintendent David McLaughlin said. “Everything from elementary productions to high school productions — amazing stuff. Students had a great time with this.”
A total of 26 films were entered, with 13 of them making the big screens on Tuesday.
Zach Phillibs, a student at Sultana and the producer of the featured film “Fly,” said the festival was his “first big event.”
“It was really cool to win some actual awards for what I’m doing,” Phillibs said, explaining that he also participates in a news broadcast called “The Wake Up” at Sultana. “It was really cool to get some real recognition.”
James Hernandez, a student at Ranchero Middle School, enjoyed the film project because he got to work on it with his best friends.
“Planning it was the fun part because of all the crazy things we put in the video,” Hernandez said.
McLaughlin said the festival is a reflection of one way the district is “trying to put fun back in the classroom.”
“And there’s more to come,” McLaughlin said. “I think we all have ideas for next year already.”
Students with their films featured invited their family and friends to come to the festival, and many of them even got dressed up for the special event.
Aaron Wagner, a student at Sultana High School, said he wasn’t disappointed that he didn’t win any “big awards.”
“It doesn’t matter because seeing my film on the big screen — that’s an award to me,” Wagner said. “I am really proud of that. Overall I think this is an amazing festival and I cannot wait to see it again next year.”
— Charity Lindsey may be contacted at 760-951-6230 or clindsey@vvdailypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @DP_Charity.