Guerilla Film Festival

Simone Westerlund, Op/Ed Editor

Thomas Cassella (12) and Sehome graduates Drew Smith and Ian Gash pose after winning an audience choice award at the Guerilla Film Festival.

Every year in February, the Pickford Film Center hosts a 48 hour challenge for local high school filmmakers to create a short film based on specific prompts. This year, the ‘Guerilla Film Project’ celebrated its 16th year. The groups were instructed to make a three-minute short film that fits the prompts, and are shown at the end of the weekend when the Festival takes place. Peers and families are welcomed to come to the Theater where the films are shown on the big screen to display the hard work of the young filmmakers. Three different groups were represented by Sehome, and two won an award.

Thomas Cassella (12) has been a part of The Guerilla Film Project for four years, and this year, his film won the audience choice award. “Since this is my fourth year, doing it this year was more of a how than an if. Originally, I found out about the project my freshman year in Styer’s video production class, and decided to get a group together and enter.” Cassella’s film was called, ‘Sanders 2020’ and was described by Cassella as, “a film about two affluent teens that are kidnapped by a Bernie Sanders cardboard cutout and are pumped full of raw socialism… My favorite part of filming was puppeteering Bernie. It’s not as easy to make a cardboard cutout look good as you might think, so it was fun figuring out the best way to make him look good and be memorable to everyone watching,” Cassella said.

Cassella has been making films for most of his life, and enjoys many aspects of filming. “I’ve been putting videos on YouTube as long as I can remember, I think since I was six and I had my parents webcam on their computer. I didn’t start getting into actual cinematic filmmaking until my freshman year, and even still it was always more about the screenwriting and creativity in what I made than the cinematography. This was one of the first things I’ve made that I’ve spent most of the time behind the camera, focusing on the shots more than the jokes, and I’m happy with how it turned out,” Cassella said.

The next film made by Sehome students is made by seniors Jacob Alexander (12) and Jackson Perkins (12). The film is called, ‘Der Geist der Bunker’ and is about a nuclear fallout and two friends in a bunker deciding what they should do when they receive a radio call. “This year, unlike last year, we took a different approach and we decided to do a more serious/ darker film,” Alexander said. “I did it last year so I had a little bit of experience in the competition. I have a passion for film and I plan on pursuing it.” Next year in college, Alexander plans on pursuing a film and television major, possibly at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design.)

You can watch the films mentioned above in the links below.

Der Geist der Bunker: https://youtu.be/NmXLbWQYxtY

Affluenza: https://youtu.be/V2jXUXWxmk8