The scene is set for planned short film festival

Have you ever wanted to create a short film? If so, now is your chance to have your short film seen by members of the community.

Senior Jaden Mathews had the idea to have a short film festival his junior year. After beginning work earlier this year it is starting to come to fruition.

Submissions opened before winter break and will close April 4, giving aspiring filmmakers enough time to create their short films. Students will be able to submit through a Google form. The festival will take place in May.

“I want to open up that space for the school to embrace and promote and share (students’) artistic endeavors,” said Mathews. The experience is a major focus for Mathews. “I want to have a space for families to come and have a good time,” he said.

While Oak Park and River Forest High School has a plethora of school sponsored music, theater and sports events, there are little to no events for other forms of art such as jewelry making and pottery. “It’s one thing to have those classes (available) but it’s another thing to host a big event,” said Mathews.

Photography and history of film teacher Michelle Carrow has been helping Mathews with the process of setting up the festival. Carrow helped Mathews reach out to other teachers for help. “She provided a good sense of advice on how to approach it (reaching out for help from teachers who were harder to contact),” said Mathews.

Mathews began with an eight page overview of what he wanted the festival to be. “Whenever you come up with an idea for a project, you want to have a bigger idea than what you can actually do. Then from that point you can pair things down,” said Carrow.

For Mathews the hardest part of the process was working with others and letting go a little bit. “Learning to take a step back and listen to what others have to say, and hear how they would approach it,” said Mathews. Generating excitement and awareness is another difficulty when organizing a school event.

“Momentum is a very difficult thing to create in people because if you are invested in something you have that excitement, but to make other people feel your excitement on such a broad level can be hard,” said Carrow.

Senior Ronan Loebel is taking a creative film class. “The school could definitely benefit from a film festival,” said Loebel.

If you or someone you know would like to submit to have your short film seen in the festival it must be around three to 10 minutes long and relatively school appropriate. “As long as it’s not over the top grotesque it’s fine,” said Mathews.

“I want this film festival to be this chance to open up more possibilities and open doors,” Mathews said.