Shelton Film Festival

In May of 2018, I had the profoundly unique experience of attending the Shelton High School Student Film Festival at the Angelika Film Centre in Dallas, Texas. While this clearly was not the largest film event of the year, it certainly did not fall short on character. As the festival began we were introduced to the head of the film program at Shelton, as well as, a previous Shelton alum and his partner, both of which work in the film industry today. The two

individuals included: Travis Lee Ratcliff, an Austin based writer and independent director, and Brody Carmichael, another Austin based filmmaker and cinematographer. As an advocate for student filmmakers, and film education, the attendance of these two filmmakers was inspiring. I had a chance to speak with the two after the event concluded, and ask them how and what they would recommend any filmmaker to do in order to “Make It” into the industry. Their response revolved around the idea of getting involved, with an emphasis on “finding projects to get plugged in with”, going to “screenings”, and participating in “Facebook film groups”. Their participation in the film festival shows how filmmakers who truly love the art are willing to support those trying to get a start in an often challenging industry.

In regards to the filmmakers showcased at the event, they exhibited unmatchable passion as visual storytellers. You take everything away from a filmmaker, a budget, a crew, filmmaking equipment, and what you have left is nothing more than a passion for the art of telling stories. The determination to deliver something you believe in no matter how fictional it may be. That is the gift of the storyteller, the burning desire to deliver inspiration for both the self and the audience, and at the core of the filmmaker nothing more is present. This is what I experienced at this film festival. Links to the Filmmakers in attendance:Travis-Lee Ratcliff, Brody Carmichael