Media tech students

From left to right: Robert Martinez, Bradley Barrera, Micaela Cabello, Clarissa Ponce, Stefania Alarcon and Timmothy A. Sanchez attend the Austin Film Festival and Screenwriting Conference held Oct. 25-26.

The San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District Media and A/V Production students attended the Austin Film Festival and Screenwriting Conference to learn tips from experts in the film industry.

The students attended through the Austin Film Festival Young Filmmakers Scholarship Program. Each student applied to the festival and was awarded a conference badge to attend panels and screenings at the festival, the school district announced in a release.

The film festival took place from Oct. 25-26.

Career and Technical Education media instructors and Media Tech Club sponsors, Jessica Guanajuato and Roberto Rodriguez accompanied the students.

According to the press release, the students attended panels on screenwriting, structure, plot and character development. The students also participated in the Young Filmmakers Pitch session.

On Oct. 25, Clarissa Ponce, Robert Martinez, Timmothy Sanchez and Stefania Alarcon each pitched a script they had been developing to industry writers, James V. Hart, Cindy McCreery, Emily Zulauf and Charmaine DeGrate.

The pitch sessions gave the students the opportunity to receive feedback and learn more about the art of selling a screenplay, according to the press release. Writers, directors and producers such as Craig Mazin, Hannah Leder, Zak Hilditch, Jon Cozart and Sofia Alvarez shared personal stories and industry challenges with the students.

The students also viewed and experienced a live taping of the “We Are Austin” morning news show, as well as heard professional interviews conducted on set at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, according to the press release.

The group also had the opportunity to see what other high school filmmakers, from across the nation, had produced this year during the Young Filmmakers Showcase. The productions were screened at the Galaxy Highland Theatre.

According to the press release, the students commented on the different insights and lessons, while hoping to return the following year.

The Media and A/V Production program is a part of Career and Technical Education. The students’ work can be found online in the school district’s YouTube page.

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