Behind the Scenes of The Archer Film Festival

Anika Bhavnani April 27, 2016 Comments Off on Behind the Scenes of The Archer Film Festival
Behind the Scenes of The Archer Film Festival
The 2014-2015 advanced film class pose together at the Film Festival last year. Photo courtesy of Alex Sherman '17.

The fifth annual Archer Film Festival will take place on April 27 at the ArcLight cinemas in Culver City. Archer will also host industry panels on April 28 on campus according to the official website.

The festival aims to empower female filmmakers.

“Our goal is not to exclude men, but rather to include women. As a result, the festival is open to all high school student filmmakers,” according to their mission statement.

The Film Festival Executive Board includes Jordan Alberstone ’16, Grace Brown ’16, Alex Sherman ’17 and Billie Wakeham ’17. They received over 2,000 submissions this year from around the world.

“Usually the Executive Board likes to watch all the submissions, but because there were so many of them and only four of us it was hard,” Alberstone said.

Event ScheduleAccording to, where hopeful filmmakers submitted their films, “The Archer Film Festival accepts all types of submissions including narratives, animations, public service announcements, experimental films, foreign films, and documentaries. Films exploring gender roles are encouraged. Filmmakers must be high school students, or must have completed their film in spring of the previous school year. Film submissions must be 1-10 minutes in length.”

Students are also awarded prizes for their films.

“Top awards will be given to female filmmakers who have demonstrated exceptional skill in directing, cinematography, screenwriting, and editing,” according to award guidelines.  “These awards, along with one scholarship to Relativity Film School’s Summer Workshop, will be given following the screening of the films.”

Archer parent J.J. Abrams will participate in a Q&A with Sherman and Wakeham.

“Part of the reason we were so excited to involve J.J. Abrams in this year’s film festival was because his vision to represent women and men equally in film sends a strong message,” said Sherman.

Additionally, the festival has multiple sponsors including Bad Robot, The Kennedy/Marshall company, The Mark Gordon Company, ArcLight Cinemas, Mandeville Films, CBS EntertainmentEverywhere Studios, Relativity School and Premiere Digital.

When it comes to selecting the films, the Executive Board begins as early as November.

“In the past, we had schools email or mail us different videos. This year, using the online platform, we got over 2,000 submissions. That made it very hard to select only 15 films out of 2,000. We use a rubric that focuses on cinematography, direction and screen play. Last year, a lot of the films were sad, so this year we wanted a variety of dramas, comedies, PSA’s, and ‘mockumentaries,'” Sherman said.

“I think we chose the best,” she said. “I am really proud of the group that we have this year.”

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