Celebrating student filmmakers with Pleasanton’s 8th annual Film Festival


Keerthi Nalabotu (‘23)

Keerthi Nalabotu (‘23) created a collage of some of the festival’s videos.

Mikail Mirza, Staff Writer

Premiered on May 18th, Pleasanton’s 8th annual Film Festival brought together 25 talented filmmakers from local schools to produce an hour long video. The YouTube video included all of the participants’ films shown one after another. 

“More than a showcase, the Film Festival is a celebration of literacy, and sharing students’ words with the world. In the past, we’ve hosted our events everywhere from Firehouse Art Center to the cozy Amador library. And now, we are watching as a community from the comfort of our homes,” said Keerthi Nalabotu (‘23)

Many spent hours and hours creating their best film production using limited resources. In fact, some had to utilize a bit of creativity to enhance the quality of their short movie. Students had only three weeks to complete their films before the festival. 

“What we love about our student film festival is the diversity of films that our students create. This year is full of animations, stories, narratives, tutorials, music videos, and just all around films,” said Ms. Landis, one of the staff organizers

There were several themes spanning from historical tragedies to modern artifacts, from the festival’s opening with “Cooking With Willy the Wizard” by Ian Chan, to the conclusion “Premonitions” by Kelsey Harrington. 

“The Film Festival really exemplifies the power of video. We accept such a wide variety of films such as AI-made films, book trailers, and how-to tutorials because we want to encourage classroom creativity and student voice,” said Mr. Padway, head of the PUSD Film Festival Committee. 

Due to quarantine restrictions, the Pleasanton district was unable to host an in-person film festival in 2020. Two years later, the tradition continues.

“I have a friend who needed some help making his film. So, I went over to his house and held up the camera during his scenes. It was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I was able to help him make his movie. He spent a lot of time and effort on this project,” said Harvest Park student Isa Mirza 6th grade.

Overall, the PUSD Film Festival was a huge success. With dozens of participants, the festival highlighted all of the incredible talents of Pleasanton’s young filmmakers across all ages. In addition, this was a time to bring a thriving community together and create outstanding art for all viewers.