Palo Alto’s Teen Arts Council will host its fourth annual Luminescence Film Festival at 6:30 p.m. on May 19 at the Children’s Theater.
According to event organizer and Palo Alto High School senior Maya Reamey, the council made several organizational changes to the festival, including shortening its length.
“We had several goals in terms of changes made from previous years,” Reamey said. “I wanted to make it much more accessible. It’s now located inside, which will be a much more comfortable experience than in the past. This is also the first time we’ve made the event formal or semi-formal; the dress code is anywhere from homecoming to Prom, which is something we hope will be a fun addition and make it a more memorable experience”
Luminescence will feature several international films, as well as one film written and directed by Paly student Max Rosenblum.
“A large portion of our films are from America, but our international features this year are from Iran, Canada, and the Czech Republic,” Reamey said.
Rosenblum’s film, “David and Jamie,” follows two friends whose relationship is not accepted by society.
“I was inspired by other movies and T.V. shows of the same style, as well as my own personal experience of loneliness, and having friends who weren’t typical, or who my parents or peers didn’t approve of for one reason or another,” Rosenblum said. “This film kind of takes that concept to the extreme.”
According to Reamey, the films will cover a variety of topics, from cultural assimilation to time travel.
“Our goal is to create a platform for youth voices in film, which is why we’re so excited to have a few films focused on topics which are really relevant at the moment, and specifically relevant to our generation,” Reamey said.
“Mercy,” directed by Blake Sepe, uses film as a platform to discuss gun violence in schools. According to Reamey, films are one way to continue national conversations on topics such as this.
“Film, like many art forms, really attempts to show rather than tell,” Reamey said. “It’s an extremely accessible form of art, since it requires a lot less from the viewer to get its message across than, say, literature. A lot of the conversation on these issues has been going on in opinion articles and tweets, which have their pros and cons, but the advantage of film is an ability to get to the emotional heart of the issue.”
Luminescence is free of charge for all who attend. While all are welcome to attend, the event is targeted towards teens.