‘Luma Illuminates short films at the Mystic

Lots of film shorts; matinee, afternoon, world and late night shorts

Devin Schwarz, A&E Editor

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Santa Rosa Junior College and the Petaluma Film Alliance will celebrate their eighth annual film festival May 7 consisting of short films, accompanied by panels of directors, actors and other professionals to discuss each film with the audience.

Each showcase screens nine to 10 short films. “There’s really no other venue where you can get this variety of storytelling for the price of a single movie ticket,” said Mike Traina, SRJC media instructor and event organizer. The one-day event May 7 at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma consists of four screenings, matinee shorts at noon, afternoon shorts at 3 p.m., world shorts at 7:30 p.m. and late night shorts at 10:30 p.m.

The festival has never existed purely for entertainment, but also as a platform to spread a variety of ideas and opinions from around the world. This year’s lineup tackles issues such as gay rights, civil unrest and gender identity.

The festival organizers used a new system to receive entries this spring. The website Film Freeway netted more than 1,000 film submissions—five times more than last year. A team of students, instructors and community members meticulously combed through the films to create the final 38-film lineup.

Among this lineup are four films SRJC students created, including “The Berninator,” a film satirizing modern Hollywood action films with presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as the pivotal super hero. There will also be a screening of “Bear Story,” the Oscar-award-winning animated short.

This event serves to bring together the community of not only SRJC but the entire county. “Events like this have a unique energy,” Traina said. “It’s nice once a year to have such a flagship event in downtown. It’s good for the community and the college.”