AVPA Premiers Three New Films “Daphne,” “Lovebarf” and “Zoetrope!” at Sony

Film maker Jade James
Film maker Jade James
film maker Dennis Delao
film maker Justin Kelly

The Academy of Visual and Performing Art’s Young Filmmakers will premier three new films, “Daphne,” “Lovebarf” and “Zoetrope!” at Sony Pictures Studios on Friday, June 4.

Each year Sony Studios sponsors a premier for Culver City High School’s AVPA Young Filmmakers’ annual film project. This year, under the supervision of West Los Angeles College film teacher Matthew Harrison, the students created three films rather than just one. Please join our AVPA Young Filmmakers for a diverse mix of independent films shown on the big screen.

The students had tremendous help from parents, community members and vendors to bring the film projects to fruition. In addition to Sony Pictures, the film department enjoyed industry support in the form of fieldtrips to Fotokem, The Writers Guild Foundation, and The Directors Guild. They also went to Mole Richardson Co. for a lighting workshop with Director of Photography Patti Lee. The program received a Target Field Trip Grant which offset the cost of transportation. Three guest professionals taught master classes at CCHS to prepare students for shooting and recording sound on set and editing in Final Cut Studio. These film industry professionals included Director of Photography Roman Zenz, Sound Recordist Paul Losada and Editor Alex Jones. The AVPA program owes much to the parent volunteers who work tirelessly to raise funds to finance the Young Filmmakers’ projects, in particular the annual Film Department Yard Sale. Many thanks are owed to Jean Ballantine and Ruth Zasadil who organized this event and also to the Kelly family who opened their home and front yard for this fundraiser. Additionally, many parents including Roger Maxwell and Steve Ballantine assisted as drivers to and from field trip locales. As usual, parents are the essential and often invisible support system that makes everything possible.

In student films as well as professional films, the final product represents the vision of the director. Senior Jade James directed “Daphne,” a bitter sweet story about a teenage boy who imagines he meets a perfect girl named Daphne. Senior Dennis Delao directed “Lovebarf,” an oft-told romantic tale about how easily communication can go awry when too many people get involved in a budding relationship. And finally, high school junior Justin Kelly directed “Zoetrope!,” an account of a burdened man on a journey across a desert. The three films focus on characters who struggle in an unsympathetic world.

The crew members who worked on the three spring films are the forty AVPA film students plus professional and non-professional actors. Screenwriters are there at the genesis of a film project. Jade James wrote “Daphne,” Dennis Delao wrote “Lovebarf,” and Justin Kelly wrote “Zoetrope.” The cinematographers help turn ideas into art. Katherine Maxwell was the Director of Photography for “Daphne.” Vedant Swarup was the Director of Photography and Josh Cahn was the Camera Operator for “Lovebarf.” Evan Pierre was the Director of Photography for “Zoetrope!” AVPA students also took on all other roles associated with film production, including the roles of producer, assistant director, gaffer, production designer, casting team member, and costume designer. The films were shot in and around Culver City and a nearby desert locale.

Alexis Butler, Creative Director of the AVPA Film Department, credits her students with the success of this year’s program. “These students came into the program with exceptional drive and talent. They devoted much of their spring semester to the countless hours it takes to create film. I am most proud of the three directors who took risks in their efforts to be inventive and original.” Special thanks go to Mr. Harrison, who taught the film production class through West LA College in the after school AVPA film program that allows the students to earn college credit for their participation.

The premier is free and open to the community, but seating is limited and available by reservation only. “Daphne,” “Lovebarf,” and “Zoetrope!” will screen consecutively starting at 6:30 p.m. and then again at 8:00 p.m. on June 4. Please email your name, contact number, and the preferred time you would like to attend (6:30 or 8:00 p.m.) to [email protected]. We will email you a confirmation. For additional information call 310-842-4200 x3306 between 3 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After securing a reservation, please arrive early as there will be other events that day and the line at the security gate could be long. Enter at the Overland Gate of Sony Pictures Studios between Washington and Culver on Overland. Reservations must be made for each and every person attending the screening because names will be verified at the gate where all attendees must present identification. Security guards will direct cars to the appropriate parking structure and attendees to the screening facility in the Jimmy Stewart Screening Room 24.

For more information about the Academy,and all of their amazing and awesome departments go to http://avpa.org or contact Tony Spano at 310-842-4200 x6094 or Kristine Hatanaka at 310-842-4200 x6001.

The Actors' Gang

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