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Minarets’ Southgate Film Festival Right Around Corner

By Ryan Abner, student journalist for Minarets Press

O’NEALS — It’s film season at Minarets High School.

Known for its outstanding film making, tech and media programs, which have garnered praise at Slickrock and other California media festivals, it’s no surprise that the high school now has a film festival of its own.

The Southgate Film Festival has been a tradition at Minarets for more than three years. The event was first created by alumnus Cole Shattuck as a way for students from not only Minarets but also neighboring schools to get experience in producing short films and videos.

“Southgate is a great example of ‘Go Big, Go Pro, Go Now!'” said Patrick Wilson, the school’s director of the charter. “It is a student-run film festival that showcases student work on a BIG screen. It really is a great example of students helping students show off their work.”

This year, like in many previous years, the production of the festival and judging submissions is part of a Senior Legacy project for Mandi Villanueva and Austin Mitchell, senior officers in Minaret’s own Media Club.

The festival will be held at the Tower Theater in Fresno on March 18, with a showing of all accepted submissions as well as an award ceremony.

“My main inspiration for wanting to run Southgate was the fact that I had the opportunity to watch other seniors go through that process and use their passion for media and film to have an impact on the community,” said senior Mandi Villanueva.

Submissions for Southgate are due on Jan. 31. Categories include sports highlights, short films, public service announcements, comedy and “swede” — a popular form of spoof videos made popular in California film festivals where trailers or scene segments are recreated with the lowest production value possible.

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