Film festival director wants students to be creative

Teresa Gutierrez, left, and Victoria Eller Castillo, VMT Digital Media students, had their work shown at the  All American High School Film Festival in New York City.

The Magnet Tribune: Courtesy of Jamin Teran

Teresa Gutierrez, left, and Victoria Eller Castillo, VMT Digital Media students, had their work shown at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City.

Alfonso Gutierrez Jr, Staff Writer

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The director of New York City’s All American Film Festival compared young people developing basketball skills to those wanting to develop skills in filmmaking and photography.

“If you’re Lebron James and you’re the best at what you do, playing basketball, from the moment that you are ten years and on, you are being recruited for your talents and you’re being provided resources to improve,” Tom Oliva said. Oliva spoke at VMT’s Film and Media Festival on February 27.

He wanted to make it the same for young filmmakers and photographers, so “if you’re the best at what you do or if you’re passionate about this, there’s a way to get rewarded and celebrate it.”

He explained his reasons for having the festival every year.

“The vision I had was for the festival to be part entertaining and part education because a lot of schools traditionally don’t have programs, and a lot of students were discouraged by that and they wanted to grow and improve. But they didn’t have the tools they needed,” Oliva said.

Oliva said his mission is to connect student artists with each other.

One of the things Oliva is proud of is the Film Invitational Competition. The Film Invitational Competition is four separate competitions: a three day challenge, two day film in one room challenge, a Broadcast Journalism challenge and an editing challenge.

For this challenge students go to New York and make a film in two or three days against other people from around the world.

“We begin the competition ten weeks before while you’re still at home. You prepare and plan for every aspect of that film, so that when you arrive you are ready to go,” Oliva said.