Submissions open for BHS Film Festival


“People should come see the show,” said junior Sophie Jacobs, a member of the Berkeley High School Film Festival Club. “We have a lot of talented people at the school, and our film program is really great. People put a lot of time and dedication into making their films, so it’s really nice to have an audience, and I think they’ll enjoy the films.” 

The BHS Film Festival club has been preparing for their upcoming film festival, taking place in early May at the Brower Center in Berkeley. The show will consist of short films created by students at BHS, and the winner will be announced with a grand prize of $150.  

“People should submit (their films) because it encourages other people to submit. It’s inspiring for people to watch student films that are interested in filmmaking because it gives them something to look up to,” said junior Cleo Saxe, one of the club leaders. The members of the club strongly encourage anyone to submit films to the festival.

“There’s nothing to lose,” said Jacobs, “You could win $150, and if not, you just get to put your film out there. The more the merrier; we just want to see everyone’s creations, and no one is judging.”

The club is beginning the process of watching the films that students have submitted for the festival, including many experimental films and horror films. The experimental films portray emotions in creative and poetic ways and some may not follow a typical storyline.  

“Some people are really creative and talented; this school is so big, and it has such a diverse group of people, so it’s just cool and interesting to see everyone’s creations,” said Jacobs. 

Student filmmakers have artistic freedom to make statements with their films, implement themes, and provoke emotion from the audience however they choose. 

“(We’re) working towards a goal, and the goal is showing students work, and I think that’s really cool,” said junior and member Chloe Caruth. 

Before the club, there weren’t many spaces for students to display their films for the world to see. The film festival creates a unique opportunity for a filmmaking and viewing experience, done by students. “It’s good to get exposure by sharing your films to people outside of your close circle,” said Saxe. 

The club provides a contrast from tedious assignments, going from lackluster to blockbuster. “A lot of the time we’re just stuck in schoolwork, so it’s nice to see what everyone’s doing,” said Caruth, “It’s important that we show the creativity at our school.”

Tickets to see the show are free, and it’s a great opportunity to support BHS students that are interested in filmmaking, as well as have an interesting and fun evening. 

“It’s good for parents and for people who don’t go to Berkeley High (School) to come and see films made at Berkeley High (School). Before this, there wasn’t a place to show your films unless you were in a film class at Berkeley High (School),” said Saxe. 

The club is a welcoming space for students to explore filmmaking, as well as be a part of a strong community of creative and dedicated peers. Jacobs said, “The sense of community (is what makes this club special) … Everyone’s an active participant.”

This open environment encourages students to share the films they make with the community, and submitting to the festival is highly recommended. 

“People can see each other’s work and we can all celebrate what we’ve created together,” said Caruth, “We’re going to have a lot of great films this year.”