Festival to show off filmmaking talents of DeKalb County students

Local students are getting ready for a unique red-carpet event with the sixth annual DeKalb Student Film Festival.

Scheduled to take place on March 26 at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts and Community Center located at 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur, this year’s DeKalb Student Film Festival will showcase 17 completed works by students from McNair, Lakeside, Southwest DeKalb, Chamblee, Arabia Mountain, Tucker, Miller Grove, and Dunwoody high schools as well as DeKalb School of the Arts and DeKalb High School of Technology-South.

Each film is up to three minutes long and must adhere to certain requirements. According to officials, films will be judged in one of two categories: novice and advanced.

Winners will be announced that evening in the following categories: best overall, best editing, best acting, best sound design, best wardrobe/makeup, best in show, and audience choice.

The auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m. for the event and in addition to walking the red carpet, students and guests will have access to a social media lounge with complimentary popcorn. The event is free and open to the public.

The annual competition, hosted by the DeKalb Entertainment Commission, is part of the county’s efforts to create a strong ecosystem and pipeline for the next generation of film industry talent, stated officials.

“In partnership with DeKalb County School District and Re: Imagine Atlanta, the DeKalb Student Film Festival provides opportunities to DeKalb-based students enrolled in the film production Career Pathway Program to gain valuable experience writing, filming, and editing projects,” said officials.

As a part of the learning process and preparing students for careers in the entertainment industry, DeKalb County educators will travel with 20 students to attend the Student Television Network National Convention in Long Beach, California, which will be held before the festival. There, students will participate in four days of film workshops and speaker sessions with industry leaders, stated a press release.

Financial support from Assembly Studios and Shadowbox Studios, both production facilities located in DeKalb County, helped ensure the students could attend the conference in California. They are also sponsoring the film festival, stated officials.

According to Georgia Public Broadcast (GPB), the film industry spent $4.1 billion in Georgia during the last fiscal year.

“Georgia remains a global leader in film, TV, and streaming productions,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in an interview with GPB. “Those who benefit most from the significant growth we’ve seen in this industry over the past couple of decades are hardworking Georgians who fill the many behind-the-camera jobs that come with each project.

That’s why we’ve worked hard to attract these and other opportunities for those who call the Peach State home.”

Officials with the DeKalb Entertainment Commission said they hope events such as the student film festival will help the industry grow in DeKalb County.

“Creating a strong ecosystem and pipeline for the next generation of film industry talent is a primary focus for the DeKalb Entertainment Commission,” said Shelbia Jackson, director of DeKalb Entertainment Commission. “Film and entertainment are key industries in Georgia and our commission is proactively helping prepare the next Ava DuVernay or Ryan Coogler. We’re planting seeds through hands-on instruction and skills development. We’re proud to be a part of their journey to becoming filmmakers from DeKalb County.”

For more information, visit dekalbentertainment.com.

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