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Around Town | SCVi/iLEAD Film Students Take Top Prize at Doko Film Festival

Uploaded 04/29/2020

SCVi/iLEAD Film Students Take Top Prize at Doko Film Festival

Santa Clarita, California — An SCVi Charter School film class, led by IB Film Facilitator Ramon Hamilton, has earned Best Festival Film at the national Doko Film Fest in South Carolina for Classroom #108, a six-minute student film written and directed by Abigail Blasberg and Luke Rigdon.

The film was the result of a Film One class assignment from Hamilton. Students were able to choose their subject matter and whether to work as a whole class or in smaller groups. Hamilton named only one restriction: The film had to tell a story using no dialogue. 

The students who produced Classroom #108 decided to work on a film as one class and voted on story lines. When two story options showed an about-equal response, the learners themselves found a win-win. They took the two issues they wanted to address — online cyberbullying and school shootings — and combined them. The resulting film immerses viewers in a six-minute scenario in which a student victim becomes the bully and the bully becomes the victim.

At Hamilton’s encouragement, students regularly submit their work to film festivals. Luke Rigdon began submitting Classroom #108 to film festivals during the summer of 2019. On February 21, 2020, the national Doko Film Fest in South Carolina notified Rigdon that Classroom #108 had been nominated among 144 student films in various categories. On March 16, the film was named Best Festival Film. 

SCVi-iLEAD is proud of the Classroom #108 filmmakers’ collaboration, hard work, and recognition. Each student contributed to their film’s success, including the following: producer Arielle Gottesman; writers and directors Abby Blasberg and Luke Rigdon; cinematographer Bobby Stewart; editor Seanray Pech; assistant editors Julian Bates-Harris, Anthony Figueroa, Chase Patterson, and Mark Robles; sound designers Isaac Allen Garcia and Nathan DeGuzman; music composer Mark Stewart; and lead actors Arielle Gottesman, Sam Grosinger, and Nathan DeGuzman.

The award-winning short film Classroom #108 can be viewed here. However, the student filmmakers caution viewers that, due to the difficult subject matter, the film is not suitable for viewers under 13 years of age.

SCVi Charter School is a project-based learning FREE TK-12 public charter school in Santa Clarita. Students enrolled at SCVi’s upper school (grades 9-12) have the option of taking International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, where one of the offerings is Ramon Hamilton’s IB Film class. Mr. Hamilton’s Film One and Film Two classes are designed to prepare students for the rigorous IB film studies offered at SCVi. To learn more, go to ileadsantaclarita.org.

(c) SCVTV 2020
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