SMC film festival to take place June 10

In a large space, three children are fighting for their lives, shooting guns. This isn't Spy Kids, it's a trailer for a film by Santa Monica College student Hiroki Kamada, and the only way to see it is at the SMC Film Fest 2011.  

The SMC Film Fest is held by the school's Student Filmmaker's Association, a club that unites fellow student filmmakers with the focus set on collaborating on projects. With help from the theater department and being led by club president Dustin Brown, they will be hosting their film festival at the Main Stage of the Theater Arts Building on the main campus June 10, at 7 p.m.

Kamada cast the child actors, each around the age of ten, through a casting website. The call asked for child actors to work for free and gain experience. The parents remained on set the entire time. "They didn't mind," said Kamada of his film's use of guns by children. "I thought they would be mad at me." Through casting, twenty different actors were cut down to two boys and one girl.

Kamada was able to find a location to shoot for free in Lancaster, making his budget come in at only $400. That money was only for food for cast and crew, and boarding. "I was very lucky to get a location and equipment for free," said Kamada, borrowing equipment from fellow students.

He is not finished with the project yet, but will submit a trailer of it for entry at this Friday's entry screening. All SMC students are welcome to submit this Friday, and anyone is welcome to the festival next Friday.

"Nobody really knows what kind of films they will submit," said Tobias Deml of his fellow film club members. With different members having different visions, there will be a lot of variety, even though the theme is Global Citizenship.

"I love movies that provoke my intellect and keep me pondering and wondering after I leave the movie theater," said Deml. "The movies that truly stay with me are the ones that have the force of shaking my world picture." Deml is submitting several short form entries which he feels are thought-provoking.

According to Deml, the club decided democratically to be non-competitive and focus rather on appreciation of the form. At both events, all in attendance are given permission to vote on the entries. There are no prizes, only recognition of achievement through praise.