Red carpet treatment

A trio of student filmmakers celebrate together as Burton School Board member Dan Figueroa looks on Wednesday, March 13 during the Burton Film Fest at Galaxy 9 Theaters in Porterville.

Young filmmakers show their stuff at third annual Burton Film Fest

The Burton School Student Film Fest was an all-out film gala on Wednesday, March 13, presented like the Academy Awards at Porterville’s Galaxy 9 Theater on the largest screen available. There were 215 film entries submitted from grades Kindergarten up to grade 12 district wide.

“Our students have access to technology and use Apple iPads and computers to create their own films. So we thought we’d put together a film festival to help them express their creativity in a visual manner, and to give them an authentic community audience for their films,” said Roberto Escudero, Burton Multi-media Specialist and Master of Ceremonies. Porterville City Councilman Daniel Penaloza attended the festival, as did Burton Superintendent Sergio Mendoza, and other Burton School officials like board members and school principals. 

The theater was full of students and parents and every film received enthusiastic applause. The first awards of the evening were given in the primary division, grades kindergarten through sixth grades.

Jerry Chrer made a documentary about Interesting Facts about Buckley School and thanked everyone who supported him when he received his award.

The ‘Attack of the Poop Emoji #2’ won the short film section, and Savannah received the award for filmmaker Quintin Spindler, who was very disappointed not to be there she said.

A film by Alexa Franco called ‘Craft a Lexa’ was entertaining and won the general advertisement category. Franco thanked her supportive parents who were proud of her. And she thanked Summit Charter Academy for accepting her film entry.

Escudero spoke about the hand drawn stop motion films by Mrs. Iriye-Correa’s class, who won in the Education category. Mrs.Iriye-Correa said, “This video is amazing. I want to thank all the teachers at Buckley School and Mr. Edwards. Awesome work, the students are learning to work together and create stories.”

The animation film ‘Partners in Crime’ won the primary division. Hailey Quemuel thanked her parents and her little brother, and her partner Chastity Asuncion. Escudero commented that it was amazing what you can do on an iPad.

The Overall winner for the Primary Division was Emma Madrid, whose film showed how emotional it can be to lose a pet. Her film was called ‘My Lost Puppy,’ and featured a happy ending when her puppy came home. When accepting her award she thanked her parents, her sister and her teacher at Burton School for helping her.

First in the overall primary division was a film about artifical intelligence watching you, and was called ‘Girls vs. Sphero,’ made by Makenzie Kizziar, Austin Jimenez, Suevalai Lasadon, Aislyn O’Neil, and Killian Fredrick. 

‘Phone Down, Eyes Up’ by Felicia Vasquez, Hope Daniel, and Vada Underwood won an honorable mention, and Hope Daniel thanked Burton board members and superintendent for their support. 

Winners in the 7th -12th grade category documentary was a film about giving up social media called ‘Cell phone usage’ by Thalia Vazquez, Kashmir Barker, Zoey Schieler, and Gracie Rangel. They thanked Mr. Thomas and their families for helping them with their video careers, and said, “You really notice the difference when you give up social media. You become more productive.”

“You’ll really like our short film winner ‘It came back from the 80’s, Part 2,” said Escudero as he introduced the action packed film with two young men fighting with laser-like powers and explosions like Tron vs. Luke Skywalker, made by Jared Balduzzi, Connar Wolfe, John Valdez, Dominik Nucum, Johnathan Sanders, and Emilee Behrens.

A general advertisement video in 7th to 12th grade category about Stafford’s Chocolate was so goog it made your mouth water. It was filmed by Connor Craven, Nicolas Lopez, and Anthony Gutierrez.

The 7th to 12th grade animation winner was ‘The Portal,’ an animation film by Joshua P. Say, and Mateo Ramos. Say thanked his parents “for being there for me and buying the video equipment.” He also thanked his video teacher and Ramos.

The second place overall winner in the 7th to 12 grade category was the scary film ‘In the Shadows’ by Noah Wiese, Megan Henderson, Janessa Gonzalez, and Marco Blog.

“This was the best thing I’ve ever done,” said one of the students who thanked his teacher and continued,“This is our first year in video production.”

In the Education film category Burton Middle School television film students in Mr. Gonzalez’s class won for the film ‘Behind the Scenes.’  

Another amazing film ‘Believe,’ all done on an iPad by Nadia Shaffer, was the first place winner in the overall category, and was a charming animated ink drawing depicting foxlike animal creatures.

Multiple films received honorable mentions, including ‘Homelessness in America,’ ‘Phone Down, Eyes Up,’ and ‘Drug Abuse Needs to Stop,’ and a couple of others.

Dominik Nucum, who helped make ‘It came Back from the 80’s, Part 2,’ said the video production class at Summit Charter Academy was really fun, and he looked forward to it throughout the day. He said making the video took a lot of time, especially the technical part of it. He has been in the class for two years.

All of the students in Burton School District say they look forward to the film festival every year, said film and video interns Emilee Behrens, Alexandre Baez and Mackenkie Clift.

“The film festival is a great opportunity for students to express themselves, but also find those hidden skills and talents they never thought they had. Burton School District has created a unique opportunity for students to showcase and discover a whole new world of technology, video and photography through the film festival, and without knowing it ,students are being stretched to become something more than what they could dream,” said Irene Ortega, Burton Communications and Outreach Officer.

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