The second annual  Believe in Battle Creek Short Film Festival  will showcase the work of students from Pennfield and Harper Creek High Schools this Wednesday, May 1st at JC Cinema.   Several of the student film producers and their teachers were guests on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins.  

Gabrielle Bishop and Pam Best from Harper Creek High School talked about their project to spotlight Community Integrated Recreation (CIR).

Tyler Boggess from Pennfield High School said their project was about the Salvation Army in Battle Creek.

Film Fest on WBCK-Sandi Podolan Photo

This year’s film festival selection represents 19 short films from Pennfield High School students and 17 short films from Harper Creek High School students, aged 16-18. The evening celebrations are free and open to the public.

Pennfield High School teacher Sandi Podolan said the program is very much a part of the curriculum at the schools and a good way to learn about and help the local community.

Amanda Zima, formerly at Pennfield,  now works at Harper Creek High School.  The project was the brainchild of Podolan, who asked Zima to do the cooperative project with the all the senior classes at Pennfield High School last year. When Zima moved to Harper Creek Schools last summer, she  introduced the project to her senior students.

Most films are about non-profit organizations, but some focus on community events and history.  Podolan says " We were looking for a hands on learning experience to allow our kids to realize that their voices are meaningful  and that they can make a tremendous impact.  And one of those ways is to bring it to the forefront with videos, art, poetry and writing."

Zima says most of the students are able to use their phones, i-Pads and i-Movie to create a video.  She says the program really ties in with the English curriculum.  "They have to read and write all the time.  They do research, and part of the English curriculum is also speaking and listening, so they have present their ideas and listen to other ideas."

  • Who: Students from Harper Creek and Pennfield
  • What: Believe in Battle Creek Short Film Festival
  • When: Wednesday May 1st, from 6:00 – 9:00pm, Short Films at 7pm

       6:00pm - Opening reception and gallery of student art pieces in the lobby 

       7:00pm - Welcome and student short film screenings

       9:00pm - Award ceremony and closing

  • Where: JC Cinema, 15375 Helmer Road, Battle Creek
  • Cost: Free! 

The evening will culminate with the Believe in Battle Creek Short Film Festival Awards Ceremony where three awards will be given out in categories including 1st Place, 2nd Place, and People’s Choice Award, which audience members will cast their votes. The 1st Place Award, given to one group from each school, will earn the opportunity to grant $500 to the 501(c)(3) non-profit of their choice.

Believe in Battle Creek Short Film Festival is sponsored by the Battle Creek Community Foundation, and additional support from Harper Creek High School, Pennfield High School, Worthington Photography & Video, Access Vision and JC Cinema.

For more information, check out the Facebook page. 

Film Fest on WBCK-Sandi Podolan Photo