The Film Studio at Shenandoah University is seeking the best young filmmakers in the nation through its Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival, presented in association with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester.
The festival, being held Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14, at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 181 Kernstown Commons Blvd., is accepting short films from current high school and college students. To be accepted into the festival, submitted films must be 15 minutes or less. Film categories include animation, comedy/drama, horror, documentary, and music video.
The submission fee is $5. The low fee is by design, to help encourage young filmmakers to submit their work, according to Film Studio Director Paul DiFranco. Filmmakers will compete for more than $1,500 in prizes.
The Film Studio at Shenandoah and the local Alamo are at the epicenter of a growing film community in the Winchester area. Alamo owner Steve Nerangis is a filmmaker himself who has worked frequently with DiFranco. DiFranco has served as a music supervisor on numerous film and television productions. Shenandoah’s film program recently co-produced the feature “Santa Girl” with Capital Arts Entertainment and provides students with a wealth of hands-on experience both in front of and behind the camera.
The Alamo is also home to the Alamo Winchester Film Club, which brings independent, international and classic films to Winchester, as well as the horror-focused Psycho Cinema and the Super 8 Family Film Club.
The judges for the Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival reflect Winchester’s growing film connections:
Mike Elliott – A partner in the production/distribution company Capital Arts, Elliott has been a producer on more than 150 film and TV projects including the “American Pie” and “Bring it On” series and the Rob Zombie films “The Devil’s Rejects,” “Halloween II” and the upcoming “3 From Hell.”
Don Argott – A leading documentarian, Argott is the filmmaker behind such critically acclaimed documentaries as “Last Days Here,” “Batman and Bill” and “As the Palaces Burn.”
Dr. Susan Kehoe – Kehoe is director of educational media services at George Mason University and the senior executive producer at GMU-TV. She serves on the board of directors of the Communications Media Management Association and has been inducted into the International Academy of Visual Arts.
Rodman Flender – Flender is a director and producer known for extensive film and TV work. He has directed episodes of such popular TV series as “Ugly Betty,” “The Office,” “Party of Five” and “Gilmore Girls.”
Efren Ramirez – Ramirez is an actor and producer best known for his role as Pedro in the hit film “Napoleon Dynamite.” Ramirez has also been featured in films such as “Middle Schools: The Worst Years of My Life,” “Crank” and “Employee of the Month” and has had recurring roles on TV, on the show “Eastbound and Down” and the “Napoleon Dynamite” animated series.
Rebekah McKendry – A Winchester native, McKendry is currently a media production professor at the University of Southern California. She is also an accomplished director and producer and has worked as a writer for Fangoria and as an editor-in-chief for Blumhouse.
Will Stockwell – A remarkable talent, Stockwell has spent significant time on the road filming various musical groups, including Eagles of Death Metal and Awolnation. Stockwell was also a cinematographer on the sports-TV series “Madden Nation.”
Steve Nerangis – Nerangis is the owner of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. He is also a partner with Varla Dogwood Films where he co-directed the top Billboard-selling documentary “Can’t Stop the Show: The Return of Kix.”
Nick Nerangis – A Shenandoah graduate and award-winning actor, Nerangis has worked on various film and TV projects including “Spent,” “For Real,” and “Santa Girl.”
Manny Vasquez – Graduating at the top of his class from Shenandoah University, Vasquez has filmed the award-winning documentary film “A Mother’s Will.”
Faye Guerra – Guerra is the host and curator of Psycho Cinema, a group of 1,000 plus film fans that meets weekly at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester.
Submitted films must be created within the past two years by current high school or college students studying in the United States. Filmmakers are responsible for clearance of copyrighted materials such as music and may be asked to provide documentation of clearance. Films must be completed before submission (no “work in progress” projects).
Please submit films at filmfreeway.com/
Learn more about Shenandoah’s film studies program, which trains students to make films for the marketplace, at su.edu/arts/film-
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.