AVPA Premiers Two New Films – “iDate” and “The Landlady” at the Frost Film Festival

DP, Vedant Swarup, and Director, Ben Mullen line up a shot while Niichi Hayashi the AC watches

The Academy of Visual and Performing Art’s Young Filmmakers will premier two new films, “iDate” and “The Landlady,” in the Sony Black Box Theatre (Frost 9) at Culver City High School. In student films as well as professional films, the final product represents the vision of the director. Senior Ben Mullen directed “iDate,” a short story about a face to face encounter between a man and a woman… But, isn’t there an “app” for that yet? Also, “The Landlady” is a film directed by Katherine Maxwell and adapted from a short story by Roald Dahl. A naive college student rents a room from an unassuming landlady because the price is cheap. But why is she so insistent that he sign the guestbook? The crew members who worked on the fall films are the forty AVPA film students plus professional and non-professional actors. Special thanks go to Mr. Paul Calderon, 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 new student-crafted films will screen as a part of the Frost Film Festival on Friday, January 14 and Saturday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. both evenings. The price of admission is $10 and tickets can be purchased at the door beginning at 6 p.m on the nights of the Festival. As a special bonus this year The Young Storytellers Foundation will collaborate with our program and host a professional “table read” of two original student screenplays at the start of the event. This will allow audiences a sneak peak at our work in development which was produced within the West LA College Screenwriting class taught by Mr. Peter Sullivan and also highlights our continuing collaboration with The Young Storytellers Foundation and Sony Pictures.

Please join our AVPA Young Filmmakers for a diverse mix of local high school student films shown on the big screen. The event is a student juried festival which highlights the finest local high school films from the last year. The students had tremendous help from parents, community members and vendors to bring their film projects to fruition. In addition to Sony Pictures, the film department enjoyed industry support from the Center Theatre Group in the form of classroom materials and a field trip to The Mark Taper Forum to see a production of The Glass Menagerie. The students also visited a photography exhibition entitled “Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the Sixties” at The Getty. The Film Department is thrilled to have recently received a FEDCO Foundation Grant which will allow students to participate in further film-making workshops and also attend a play at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in the spring. We would like to especially thank the guest professionals who taught master classes to prepare the film students in directing the actors. These film industry professionals include Jason Pugatch and Bill Thompson, Associate Director and Executive Director respectively of the Young Storytellers Foundation, along with fellow professional actress Laura Heisler. With their guidance, students were able to practice working with professional actors on scenes selected from The Glass Menagerie. Additionally, we would like to thank visiting screenwriters Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Anna and the King) who generously visited our Screenwriting class for a Q&A with students about their craft.

The Frost Film Festival is open to the community, but seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis only. For additional information call 310-842-4200 x3306 between 3 and    5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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