Short Films: Petaluma film fest showcases visually pleasing cinematography from local aspiring film makers


Arthur Gonzalez-Martin

Audience attentively watches the selection of shorts, some submitted by SRJC students, on the Petaluma campus April 7.

Grant Wetmore, Opinion Editor

The ninth annual Sonoma County Student Film Festival on the Santa Rosa Junior College  Petaluma campus featured 22 short films, all made by aspiring local filmmakers including both high school students and retirees. The films took a variety of forms, from comedy to horror and everything in between. Though each film was magnificent in its own way, five films were awarded Best of Show. The five winning films, listed below, will be showcased at the Film Fest Petaluma on May 6 at Mystic Theatre.


This extremely short film packs more terror into 65 seconds than most horror movies do in an hour and a half. Directed by SRJC student Ken Davis, the film has a heightened sense of tension and a shocking ending, told entirely through imagery and expression without any dialogue. If you aren’t on the edge of your seat for the entire 65 seconds, you’re a braver person than I am.

“The End”

If you ever wondered what it would be like to attend your own funeral, this is the film to see. Directed by SRJC student Jarrod C. Wallace, “The End” takes place from the first-person perspective of a recently deceased man. For some people, like the film’s mortician, death is just a job. For others, such as the mourners at the memorial service, it is a soul-crushing experience.

“Little Soldiers”

“Little Soldiers” is symbol-laden film about lost innocence, war and the glorification of violence in entertainment. Directed by SRJC student Miles Levin, the film follows three boys as they play make-believe war in the woods, where a sudden twist of events leads to a confrontation with the ugly aftermath of killing. In real life, there is no “re-spawning.” Real bullets bring real pain and death.


Co-directed by Santa Rosa High School students Connor Macheras, Griffin Malone and Andy Huey, “Whereabouts” is a cheerful, feel-good film that chronicles a day in the life of an adventurous boy. This film brings nostalgia of younger days when the world was ours to explore and when going outside was a grand undertaking. From the first moments to the very end, you will be smiling and tapping along to this film’s outstanding soundtrack.


Perhaps the most inspiring film of the festival, “Lift,” directed by SRJC student Louie Poore, features a young boy who longs to be able to fly. Compared to some of the other films, the story is somewhat basic, but the film is anything but. The technical qualities of the film were excellent, especially in the montage sequences, and the director deserves special kudos for pulling off the film’s final, magical scene.