The sixth annual SONscreen Film Festival was kicked off on April 10 and ran through April 12 to an audience of young filmmakers from all over the country. The festival was once again held at its host location, the Adventist Media Center in Simi Valley, Calif. The three-day event provided attendees with an eclectic showcase of quality independent Christian filmmaking and a variety of workshops led by industry professionals highlighting screenwriting, cinematography and animation. PUC film instructor and one of the festival organizers, Stephen Eyer, said, “The mission of the SONscreen Film Festival is to nurture Christian filmmakers in their craft, career development and spiritual lives. Although the festival screens films from working professionals, the focus of the festival is on student filmmakers.”
Several entries from PUC students were screened at this year’s festival, and Uly Mostrales’ short film “The Green Light” took home an award. Mostrales’ film, about finding inner strength when overcoming loss, received “Best Drama” and was the second award-winning short he’s taken to SONscreen. He won “Best Music Video” at the 2007 ceremony for his visual take of Emery’s “So Cold I Could See My Breath.”
The ceremonies also provided a group of PUC students with a valuable experience in lighting and set construction. Film instructor Terry Cantrell led four film and television majors, including Allison Kurtz, Krisztina Nagy and Jason Robinson, in not only preparing the lighting set-up for the event but directing it for the ceremonies as well. Kurtz, who was given the role of director of lighting for the ceremonies, explains, “It was a little intimidating at first, being in charge of lighting. But even so, I had a lot of fun at Sonscreen.”
As an event intended to help young filmmakers not only perfect their craft but also network with and inspire each other, the festival was a success. Films from high school, college and professional levels were all screened. The festival gives student and professional filmmakers alike a chance to open dialogue about each other’s films and the art in general. Eyer added, “This is good preparation for what filmmakers will do later in larger festivals and gives them a chance to practice talking about the making of their films.”
For more information on SONscreen Film Festival, visit www.sonscreen.com.