PCS Film Festival 2023 Deemed Smashing Success; Students Recognized for Accomplishments


“man with video camera” by woodleywonderworks is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Petaluma City Schools hosted a film festival for students in the district to submit their creative videos and express themselves. The theme this year was “identity” and an array of students from 4th-12th grade produced, filmed, directed, and edited their own films for many to see. 

The event was held at the Casa Grande NMU from 4 to 6 p.m. on April 15, and it ran through rather smoothly. The event was M.C.’d by Cecilia Hernandez, a CGHS ASB student, with a wonderful introduction by the PCS superintendent Matthew Harris. 

ASB was selling popcorn and drinks at the event and PCS set up fun decorations including a red carpet, balloon arches, and chairs with a big screen to view all the films. Some of the films entered were going to be submitted to the Sonoma County Film Festival as well, the results of which will be released next month. 

The videos were two to five minutes long and ranged widely in topics, subjects and focus that all swarmed around the major theme of “identity.” Some of the participants used subjects like bullying, social media, hobbies, loved ones, and other serious matters to express their artistic videos. 

Overall, the event was very well organized and enjoyable. A total of 18 films were played, and it took around two hours from the beginning introduction to the final awards being given out. There even was an award to vote on, where people used a QR code and picked their personal favorite film for the People’s Choice Award right there and then! 

Judges broke up divisions from 4th to 7th grade and 8th to 12th in order to give out awards fairly. The awards included: best directed film for 4th through 7th, best directed film for 8th through 12th, most true to theme for 4th to 7th, and most true to theme for from 8th to 12th, and finally people’s choice for 4th through 12th.

At the end of the night, there were many smiling faces from kids who felt seen and appreciated for their hard work as well as parents, teachers, and loved ones who got to see the amazing work done by these students. The films themselves were impressive given that they were done by children ages 9-17 years old, but what truly made the night was the encouragement and passion that could be felt even from such a young age group.  It is events like this that bring the Petaluma City Schools community together overall, and it was truly enjoyable to attend.