- Fontana Unified School District
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Fontana Unified TV Production Students Take Star Turns at San Bernardino Valley College Film Festival
FONTANA, CA – Jurupa Hills High School TV Production students Kira Flores and Eddie Lopez rose early every Saturday for months so that they could film students participating in the Fontana Leadership Intervention Program (FLIP), a 16-week enrichment camp for at-promise teenagers seeking to turn their lives around.
Originally looking to provide a short video for a FLIP graduation ceremony, Flores and Lopez realized they had enough compelling footage to produce a standalone documentary, titled “FLIP,” that tracks the personal journey of several FLIP students as they learn life skills through the program offered through a partnership between Fontana Unified, the City of Fontana, and the school and city police departments.
“FLIP” was one of three Spartan TV Production videos to be screened at the San Bernardino Valley College 2023 International Student Film Festival, held in early March. “FLIP” received four award nominations, including Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Documentary and Best Cinematography.
“The film festival was a fun experience. It was my first red carpet,” Flores said. “We were getting interviewed and everyone was so professional and knew what they were doing. I really liked the whole vibe of the festival. It’s really nice to be around people who share the same interests as you and have the same mindset.”
Flores, a Jurupa Hills High senior, and Lopez, a junior, produced, filmed and edited “FLIP” together, calling on skills and training they have received in their TV Production class under the guidance of instructor Jhoann Acosta-Idda.
“Mrs. Jho goes beyond teaching us the technical aspects of filmmaking,” Lopez said. “She stresses the importance of being on time, on being responsible and acting like we are professionals in the making. It made a difference in filming the documentary, because we never knew what to expect. Preparation and communication are essential in putting together a film people want to watch.”
In addition to getting up early on Saturdays to capture footage for the film, Flores and Lopez spent weeks editing it before they had a final cut that satisfied them. Their patience was rewarded; FLIP administrators were so impressed by the documentary that they will now use it as a motivational video shown at the beginning of the 16-week program.
“Participating in competitions and film festivals is a real-world experience that our students get to put on their resume. Not only is the experience fun, but it’s an eye-opener for them,” Acosta-Idda said. “Suddenly they are in a room of college students who have the same passion and interests as them. They can make connections and network, and have the opportunity to be recognized.”
The other Jurupa Hills TV Production film festival entries included a Spartan TV holiday spoof titled, “Happy Thanks-not-giving,” and a preview of the first episode of the TV series “Spartan wRECk,” which will be officially released in April. “Spartan wRECk” received an honorable mention at the film festival.
Jurupa Hills High offers three years of TV production courses as part of its career technical education (CTE) pathway, with a fourth year as an afterschool program, giving students an opportunity to receive professional instruction while they explore the world of filmmaking and get hands-on experience operating field and studio cameras, writing, directing and using editing software programs to complete productions in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
“Congratulations to our Jurupa Hills High student filmmakers, who are receiving the opportunity to tell their stories through the school’s highly successful CTE pathway,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Miki R. Inbody said. “By supporting our students with dynamic instructors and state-of-the-art tools, the District is fully committed to enabling students to explore their professional options through our CTE pathways.”