PUC Film Students Win at the 2023 Sonscreen Film Festival

By Ally Romanes on May 19, 2023

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Sonscreen Film Festival is an event hosted by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for over the past 20 years. It brings together Adventist filmmakers to celebrate excellence in film, encourage new work, and has always had a strong focus on student filmmakers, with our Adventist college students being involved from the very beginning. 

Over the years, Rajeev Sigamoney, chair of the visual arts department, has attended the film festival and helped run the event. Now, he proudly takes Pacific Union College students to Sonscreen every year. “The connections and community have been deeply valuable to my artistic journey and career and I hope that it might be the same for the students,” said Sigamoney. “Not to mention, as a department, we love the time away from the campus spending time together and going deeper in our relationships.”

More than 20 PUC film students represented the college, along with professors Sigamoney and Tim de la Torre. During the festival, they attended film screenings, professional showcases, participated in a pitch competition, and attended the awards banquet. On Friday evening, PUC showcased two projects worked on by faculty and students in front of a packed house, along with the NAD. These projects were the short film, Those Were the Good Days and the trailer for Daniel, Ancient of Days.

Eight PUC student films were official entries in the festival. Two students were finalists in the Pitch Competition- along with the two additional projects featured during the PUC showcase. PUC won three categories and was runner-up in two other categories. Minutemen by Jonathan Salvador and Nephtali Marin won the Audience Choice Award. Taste of Love by Adam Adreveno won Best Comedy. Echoes by Sierra Lewis won the Jury Award and was also the runner-up for Best Documentary. Broken Circuits by Melaney Klinedinst was the runner-up for Best Experimental Film.

“Winning is always fun, and as a department, we love to cheer our accomplishments and push ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves that we can become,” said Sigamoney. “But as great as the awards were, the best part of attending Sonscreen was being able to showcase our students’ films and celebrate their diverse voices, which we hope will help grow the Adventist church into what we hope it can become.”