Student Film Festival at Los Altos High School showcases emerging talent

From stop-motion animation to drama and comedy, films made by Los Altos High School students will premiere at the school’s annual Student Film Festival, scheduled 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the school’s Eagle Theater, 201 Almond Ave.

The film festival has run for the past six years under the guidance of veteran film teacher Susana Herrera.

“What has been so exciting for me as a teacher is to see the student films getting better and better every year,” she said. “We are seeing students falling in love with the whole process of filmmaking and going on to college to major in film or media.”

English and film teacher Robert Barker joined the project this year.

“As someone who tried for years to make it in Hollywood as a screenwriter before becoming a teacher, I have a unique level of respect for my students,” he said.

Barker noted that filmmaking is a difficult medium, and he is proud of the students for embracing the “guerrilla” style the teachers encouraged this year.

“We wanted the students to know you can make a great film with the phone in your pocket,” he said. “You don’t have to have a $3,000 camera.”

Los Altos High’s film program has expanded over the past six years, with more than 90 students working individually or in teams this year to create short films for the hands-on portion of their senior project. Students produced more than 50 films, and they voted on which ones merited inclusion in the festival.

Admission is $5.

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