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Dragon's Tale

The Student News Site of Sonoma Valley High School


Oscar-worthy Film Fest

William B Murray

Spring has sprung at SVHS with another successful Film Fest! 

During Film Fest, Media Arts students celebrate their self-made films with a movie marathon at Sebastiani Theater. Mr. Hansen, media arts teacher, hosts the 22-year-old tradition and has seen attendance grow from a 16-person audience to a 300-person audience!

Film Fest consisted of 30 films this year, the longest being Omen by Adriel Velazquez. All films can be watched at SVHSvideo.com. An estimated 235 students and community members attended this year’s Film Fest.

The event created a buzz on campus as Georgina Van Heerden, senior, corroborates. “This year’s Film Fest went really well because all of the films had way more acting in them, there were way fewer music videos… I just think everyone put so much dedication and hard work into [their films] and it really showed.”

 Siena Hoban, senior, was amazed by the quality of this year’s Film Fest, stating “Everybody who got a film in was really good and really well edited… I was surprised by how good some of the films were considering we’re all just students…”

Many eyes were on student filmmaker Adriel Velazquez, senior, who recently finished filming for his feature-length film Bad Knight in Gotham and earned a Full-ride Scholarship to Sonoma State University in Cinematic Arts and Technology. Adriel has a deep love for filmmaking, sharing that he has “always been really into movies” and began making Lego stop-motions when he was young. “I would make movies with my cousins at my grandma’s house, and I just kept going and kept learning new stuff.”

The student films were judged in five award categories: best editing, best sound, best picture, best acting, and best cinematography. After audience voting, all Media Arts students were brought onto the stage for speeches, and Mario Alioto thanked Mr. Hansen for this dedication to their class. 

Taking the stage, Leadership students announced that Adriel Velazquez won every category, which has never been done in SVHS Film Fest history! Adriel Velazquez thanked his family and peers for their support and collaboration. “I feel very honored and very grateful that people liked the stuff we made over many months of hard work.”

Featured filmmaker Andrew Bonfigli, senior, stated “I really liked how everyone was just respectful about everyone else’s films.” Despite a history of students talking during films, Andrew appreciated that this year “everyone was just really attentive… that was cool to see.” 

Mr. Hansen was overwhelmed at the success of the 2024 Film Fest, asserting that it “was easily [his] best one.” He attributes this success to the diversity of genres and tones in the film selection. Compared to previous years there was “more diversity through documentaries, dramas, horror films, personal emotional journeys, art films, and suspense movies. Awesome diversity and variety.”

 Mr. Hansen praised the student audience on their behavior as they “recognize what a special event it is” and don’t want to “jeopardize that event” for themselves or future students. “I’m really proud of my students.”

Thanks to the hard work of the Media Arts students, this year’s Film Fest was a favorite amongst teachers and students.

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About the Contributors
Chris Lopez
Chris Lopez, Writer
Sup Dragons! I am a junior at SVHS and I joined Dragon's Tale because I think that people need to hear what's happening on campus and be informed. I play soccer for the school and club and love skating, fishing, and playing video games with my friends in my free time. I will try to keep you guys up to date this year. Stay safe Dragons.
Kasper Bolling
Kasper Bolling, News Editor
As the News Editor for the Dragon's Tale, I value writing and freedom of expression as being highly important to our campus culture. I love reading, writing, and reptiles. My favorite show is Our Flag Means Death. I want to report on pressing issues at SVHS.

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