By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
First there was Cannes, then Sundance and Telluride, and now, Rooney Fest. A film festival is an organized presentation of a collection of movies shown at a specific place and time, usually over a few days. The collection of movies can range from old movies to new movies, independent films or student films; it all depends on the festival’s focus. The world’s first film festival was held in Venice in 1938. Berthoud High School held its first film festival five years ago, but like many of the previously mentioned events, it too has grown.
The Rooney Fest, as the film festival is called, is entirely student-run. Co-chairing this year’s Rooney Fest Committee are Luke Taylor, a junior, and Katie Kouns, a sophomore. I chatted with Taylor about this year’s show, which will feature six movies “” the most ever shown at Rooney Fest. “I set up meetings with each of the students interested in making a film, and then they had a couple months to actually make the film,” stated Taylor. He got a good response, and BHS students from all grades and different backgrounds are involved. Taylor, an avid filmmaker himself, is happy to have so many students get involved in this film festival.
In a plot twist, this year’s Rooney Fest participants must produce a trailer for their movie. “We’ve never done this before “” we’re going to premiere all six trailers at school to get more students interested in coming to Rooney Fest,” said Taylor. From story creation to the editing process, each film must be produced by the students. The films must be no longer than 10 minutes, and must be school appropriate. The subject matter of this year’s film entries includes artistic works, humorous works and even an ode to James Bond “” a little something for everyone.
The evening’s program will include a short introduction of each film, followed by the showing of each film in its entirety, and then it will fall to the judges to produce the night’s exciting conclusion. “There’s a panel of judges, and they will give out awards for things like best actor, best actress and best picture,” explained Taylor. The students will receive many different prizes based on their work on or in the film; a sort of miniature BHS Academy Awards.
Rooney Fest will take place Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Berthoud High School. Community members are encouraged to attend. The admission fee is $3, and swag in the form of door prizes will be handed out during the evening.