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1st Annual Dublin High School Film Festival Spotlights Filmmaking Talent on May 27th

May 24, 2015

Dublin High School Student Filmmakers

Dublin High School Student Filmmakers

With the impending end of the school calendar, it is difficult to not begin thinking about 2015-16. At Dublin High School, this will represent a number of new classes that will be available to students. Some of these include Fashion & Interiors, Speed and Strength Training, AP Human Geography, Chinese Mandarin 2 for Native Speakers and Honors Advanced Vocal Music.

Another available course will be Advanced Video Production led by Michael D’Ambrosio. It will be available to students that have successfully completed the introductory Video Production class taught in this current year. We share this nugget as Dublin High School will host its first Film Festival – A Night on the Red Carpet on Wednesday, May 27th at 7:00 PM in the Center for Performing Arts & Education.

OneDublin.org previously posted a story on this first year program. The progress of this initiative was largely due to the efforts of Mr. D’Ambrosio. In turn, his students have responded with great enthusiasm. At the start of the academic year, he challenged his students with the prospect of completing a project that was worthy of screening at a DHS film festival. Throughout the year, they have been tasked with certain timelines/deliverables. Approximately 15 completed video pieces that involved about 40 students were submitted for consideration. Ultimately, the end result will be a representation of all of the students’ efforts and a celebration of this burgeoning program.

The process was relative simple. Classmates were asked to craft a concept for a short film and to work on it throughout the year. Certain milestones needed to be met and there was a submission deadline. Upon a peer review process, five subjects have been selected to be screened. Make no mistake, this is not a competition. Rather, it is a celebration for all of the work that has been invested this year.

OneDublin.org recently had the opportunity to sit down with Video Production instructor Michael D’Ambrosio to gain his insights into the entire process. We are pleased to share this conversation.

OneDublin.org:  What was the genesis of constructing a film festival at DHS and do you hope that this will further propel the Video Production program?

Teacher Michael D'Ambrosio

Teacher Michael D’Ambrosio

Michael D’Ambrosio: “The idea actually came in two parts. A colleague of mine mentioned that at some point we should have a film festival here once the program gets going. When the students turned in their proposals and then a portion of their films, there were a couple of films that I was taken aback by and I knew that others had to see them, and I went to work on making the Film Festival happen. The program is already growing at DHS. This year there were two sections, and next year there will be three with a fourth section being an advanced course. The school has embraced what we have done, and I plan on running with it and having students showcase their work as often as possible. It’s amazing what these kids are producing, and where their minds go.”

OneDublin.org: Participation in the film festival was actually a year-long process.  Please share the timeline and some of the benchmarks that your students needed to achieve throughout 2014-15.

D’Ambrosio: “Participation in the film festival was actually a year-long process.  Please share the timeline and some of the benchmarks that your students needed to achieve throughout 2014-15. The process actually began on the first day of school. I told the students that they would have to have a film due towards the end of the year. The students then had to create a proposal that explained the ins and outs of their film. Once it was approved, and the concept was thought out, they began working on a portion of the movie that they could show me. Once the deadline for that passed they then had two due dates they could choose. One being submitting to the Film Festival to see if it is chosen, and the other date was just a date when it was due as an assignment.”

OneDublin.org: After you and your colleagues reviewed all of the submissions, please comment on the overall quality of what you screened.  Did the students employ any advanced techniques?

D’Ambrosio: “To be honest I was very surprised just how much the students had learned. For many of the students that submitted films, this was their real first hands-on experience with using the kind of equipment and editing software at Dublin High School. While watching the films, I really felt like I could see their complete thought process in their movies. The students did an outstanding job demonstrating what they had learned all year. This included film angles, drawing in the viewer, keep the viewer engaged, sound, and editing techniques.”

OneDublin.org: Based upon student feedback, please explain how having an end of year event helped to further motivate your students beyond their day to day lessons.

Dublin High School Film Festival 2015D’Ambrosio: “The students, I don’t think really knew what to expect from the Film Festival so I knew it was up to me to get them excited about it. I purchased a few items like a back drop and professional posters to let the students know that I was excited to help them put this Film Festival on. That’s all it took to get the students excited and now, they can’t wait for the Film Festival to get here. I look forward to growing the Film Festival every year and really showcasing the work of these creative students. The students have created work that is authentic and meaningful to them and they are excited to share it with the school and the community. The movies that are to be shown really go in-depth in the minds of the students and that is something I am excited everyone gets to see.”

The DHS Film Festival is a first time event. Admission is free. A full reception complete with food and music will begin at 5:30 PM and the doors will open to the theater at 6:30 PM. Please demonstrate your support for these students and the program with your presence on this night. It may be your only opportunity to stroll a red carpet this year.

Dublin High School Film Festival 2015 Flyer

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