Film Festival Features Scholarships


Junior Vikram Bhaduri receives his scholarship at the LAUFF 7 film festival.

Emily Fong, Staff Writer

Video production teacher Justin Seligman hosted the 7th annual LAUFF film festival on Friday, April 19 in the Campolindo Performing Arts Center (CPAC). The event showcased many student-produced works, including 25 short films and movies. Most of the submissions came from Campolindo students, though students from Miramonte, Las Lomas, and Acalanes also contributed one video each.

Seligman was proud of his students and the amount of work they put into their projects. “I founded this opportunity 7 years ago as a way to showcase and highlight the creative work that our students do in a way that lets them express themselves,” said Seligman.

Submissions drew inspiration from a variety of sources. Senior Kyle Merryman’s The Florist starred himself as a silent, Charlie Chaplin-esque womanizer caught in between 2 relationships, while senior Lily Quint’s take on the classic film noir genre Atta Boy, Marty drew vivacious applause from the audience. Junior Vikram Bhaduri’s documentary Marconi Transmission recounted the tale of a former  worker at the Point Reyes transmission center who spent his career decoding the beeps and blips of Morse code that came through over the radio.

At the end of the screenings, scholarships were given out to to the directors of the films. Each Scholarship Winners have 2 weeks after receiving the scholarship to decide on whether or not they chose to attend. The Moraga Education Foundation and the Campo Parents Club also helped run the event.

Most scholarships awarded were partial scholarships. About $2000 was raised to help pay for the full costs of the various film programs offered by various film companies or insitutions. Families who cannot afford the costly tuitions for these programs have the opportunity to use some of the funds raised by Moraga Education Foundation member Marcia Harris. Scholarships were contributed by AVID, the New York Film Academy, San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, the East Bay Media Center, the Orinda Arts Council, California College of the Arts, DTC Film and Cameras, Bay Area Video Coalition, Colorflow Cameras, California Independent Film Festival, San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking, Interlochen School for the Arts, and Charter Cameras.

Winners mostly intended on using the scholarships and capitalizing on the opportunities that were awarded by the sponsors.  Sophomore Rachel Lin said, “I’m definitely going to take the scholarship.” Lin, the director of Write, worked with the San Francisco School of Art to produce her film, however most student films were produced independently or in conjunction with the video tech class. Students often spent weeks filming and editing before their works were ready. For example, Lin travelled to San Francisco weekly for nearly two months to film Write, the story of one aspiring novelist’s struggle to produce a worthy work.

Sophomores Graham Taylor, Brendan Wilson, juniors Anna Helsner, Sabrina Sergott, Connor Cronin, Lucas Silva, and Las Lomas senior Chessa Mehlman were given free tickets to the Rheem theater as consolation prizes.