Films ready for their close ups

Orange Coast College student filmmakers will have their films showcased during the Newport Beach Film Festival later this month.

Nine students from Orange Coast College’s Film and Television department will have the opportunity to showcase their work at the upcoming Newport Beach Film Festival.

The festival, which runs April 25 to May 2, typically attracts more than 50,000 film enthusiasts to watch over 300 film submissions at several theaters across the city. Films submitted by the OCC students will run as a program called OCC Shorts on April 28 at 1 p.m. at the Lido Theatre in Newport Beach. Tickets are $16.

The short films selected to represent OCC provide diverse perspectives and span the genres of drama, comedy, narrative and documentary. All of the work of writing scripts, casting, filming and editing are completed by the student directors.

“It’s exciting because when you make a project, you don’t often get to show it to an audience. This is a rare opportunity to show to a big audience at the Lido Theatre. It’s a bit better when you get to see it on a 20-foot screen,” Erik Forssell, an instructor in the Film and Television department said.

Student filmmakers used resources from OCC as well as their own cameras and editing software to produce their films. The huge commitment undertaken by students took anywhere from a few months to almost a year to write, cast, film and produce the films.

“I love OCC’s film production faculty. They were really the mentor of my OCC journey. They helped me a lot with the process of filming,” V Nguyen, a 24-year-old film and video production major and short film director said. Nguyen and partner Kevin Kurtz will showcase their film “Blindspot” about a high school reporter who investigates a murder.

The eight films selected represent the best of OCC short films.

“I love film because there are things I can say and share that I’m not able to in conversation,” Creston Brown, 19, a film production major and short film director said. Brown will showcase his film “My Mom’s Mercedes” about a grieving woman dealing with her mother’s untimely death.

The opportunity to present OCC’s short films along with numerous other schools as a part of the Newport Beach Film Festival provides real world experience in the pursuit of filmmaking.

Many of the student short film directors have backgrounds in film predating their time at OCC and are active in film production in both commercial and creative roles. Many OCC instructors in the Film and Television department are industry professionals with a passion to share their knowledge with the next generation of filmmakers.

“I became a filmmaker by attending OCC. I was very proud of my time here at Coast as a student and then to bring back my experience to the classroom is what is most important,” Forssell said.

After months of writing, filming and editing, student directors will finally get the chance to screen their films to a large audience as part of the NBFF at the end of the month.

“I’m pretty excited to have my films debut at the Newport Beach Film Festival,” Hau Nguyen, 20, a film and video production major and student director said. Nguyen’s film is a look at the OCC Food Riders club.

Other films that will be part of the showcase include “Orc Master 3000” by Claire Fisher, “Instafame Us” by Taylor David and Jamie Land, “24 Hours” by Michael Tanaka, “Leemo” by August Rice, and “Gift and Friendship” by Hau Nguyen.

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