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RUSD Students Walk The Red Carpet At Film Festival
Students from Cardozo Middle Schools after school program participated in the Reel Life Film Festival and submitted a film called Living in Black and White for the Blockbuster category. - photo by Contributed

Rivervbank Unified School District (RUSD) students shone at the 3rd Annual Reel Life Film Festival (through the lens of an after school student) that was held on Wednesday, May 14 at the State Theatre hosted by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE).  

The after school program students from grades 6th through 12 from Cardozo Middle, Riverbank High, and Riverbank Language Academy (RLA) worked throughout the year to create three-minute short films challenging them to produce films that meet industry standards in filmmaking.

Between the three school sites there more than 10 films that were created for the film festival contest and of those, five RUSD students placed in the finals.  

“Riverbank Schools had the largest number of entries and everyone worked extremely hard to make fun, quality films,” said Keenon Krick, Riverbank Unified School District, Program Grant Manager. “I believe many of the students found this to be a fun and rewarding process that allowed them to be creative and learn a lot about technology and the filmmaking process.”

Yasmin Morales received second place in the Blockbuster category for her film “Living in Black and White” and Emily White and Jenise Perryman received first place in the Documentary category for their film “Riverbank News.”

This is the first year that Cardozo Middle and RLA students participated in the annual film festival.

“This year's theme was inspired by the county initiative Destination Graduation,” said Krick.
“The students were able to gear each of their films toward this theme.”

According to the mission statement on the SCOE website about the film festival, when students produce films, they engage in a more stimulating academic environment where creativity, academic knowledge, and individuality, are promoted. Through the art of filmmaking, students also have an opportunity to learn valuable 21st Century skills that prepare them for life beyond the classroom.

In order for the students to participate they must be enrolled in an ASES or 21st CCLC after school program in Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties.

Staff members, Carmen Sanchez from Cardozo Middle School and Jesus Pelayo from RLA were in charge of supervising the students and the project.

“They were able to take these students on a real learning experience to put the short films together, from storyboarding to directing to acting to editing,” Krick said. “All of these students did an amazing job and stuck with their commitment to this project from the beginning of the year. We are so proud that they did so well for their first time being a part of this great event.”