The Reel Life Film Festival was hosted on Wednesday, May 4 at the historic State Theatre in Modesto where students from Mesa Verde Elementary, California Avenue Elementary, and Riverbank Language Academy were award winners in all three categories of the film festival, making Riverbank the only school district to take honors at all levels.
“I think the standout moment is each of the Riverbank schools that submitted, received awards within each of the categories for the Film Festival,” expressed Keenon Krick, Program/Grant Manager for Riverbank Unified School District. “This is very exciting for the students, their parents, and the staff at each of the schools. This shows the dedication of the staff and students to see through a very lengthy project to develop a film they can be proud of, and they will have a record of it for years to come.”
The red carpet was laid out for all attendees and each film that placed first, second or third received a trophy and award winners were able to give an acceptance speech on stage if they wanted to do so.
The student-produced films are submitted by fifth through eighth grade students throughout Region 6 which includes Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties. Students participating in the after school program are able to submit films and each school site participating submitted three films each.
There were approximately 110 students, family members and district staff from Riverbank that attended the Reel Life Film Festival last week.
Taking first place in the Stop Motion Category for a film titled “Of Snowmen” were Mesa Verde students Kyle Alanis, Alejandro Morales, Alonso Martin, and Jose Arellano.
The California Avenue Elementary film titled “Riverbank Pays it Forward” made by Sage McCann, Olivia Reyes, and Erica Carreno placed first in the Documentary Category.
In the Blockbuster Category, eighth graders Joey Timpone and Adam Martinez from Riverbank Language Academy tied for second place with a film titled “A Lesson for the Royals,” with classmate Alexandra Flores taking on a lead acting role.
“The films are scored and then ranked within the particular Film Category they submit within,” said Krick. “Within each film category there are criteria such as identifying which type of film it is, meeting the time length requirements, have a credits page at the end of the film, creativity with how the films are made, and the use of technology in making the films.”
The theme for this year’s festival was “Pay it Forward” and students had to create films based on the theme. The panels of judges consisted of employees from the Stanislaus County Office of Education that scored and ranked the films within each film category.
“The students first have the opportunity to participate in an activity that is going to expand their knowledge and skills, they would not have the opportunity to do anywhere else at this point in their life,” added Krick. “Since the Reel Life Film Festival’s focus is on film making, this activity involves the use of learning technology, the art of film making, math skills, language arts skills, public speaking skills, and leadership skills.
“This is a yearlong project for most of the students with developing these films and for them to finish this off with a culminating, formal red carpet event at the Modesto State Theater is very exciting for them and their families.”