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909 Fest celebrates the quirky

Karo Chakhlasyan
Arts Editor

The third annual 909 Film Festival screened an array of Inland Empire-inspired films, ranging from the adorable to the downright bizarre. It ended with two University of La Verne student-produced films that earned awards Sunday night at Pitzer College in Claremont.

“Not only did our students have six videos accepted into the screening,” Professor of Communications Don Pollock said. “But they won two awards so that’s great.”

After Pollock looked back at different student-produced films from the past year, he found 12 films to be fitting for submission to the festival.

“What I’ve found over the years, students don’t often enter (or they are not) aware of festivals,” Pollock said. “Every festival is different and the 909 (festival) tends to like weirder and quirky stuff.”

“Lumberjacked,” a humorous documentary about two lumber jacks who compete at Los Angeles County Fair won the 909 Fair Reporting Award.

Junior television broadcast major McKinley Pollock dressed as a lumberjack hosting the documentary. McKinley Pollock and ULV broadcasting majors Anthony Troli, Marianna Pignotti, Chelsea Stark-Jones  were the film’s creators.

“It was fun to dress up,” Mckinley Pollock said. “It added a different element to the documentary.”

The other winner ,“Claremont Folk Music Center” is a brief documentary about the history of the Claremont Folk Music Center. The film produced by the same ULV team received the 909 Mini Documentary Award.

“Our students are winning awards and getting recognition,” Don Pollock said.

“That’s a big part of why we enter stuff into contests; we want to empower the students and say, ‘Hey somebody likes your work and thinks its good, besides your mother.’”

Junior television broadcast major Kaitlin Hollingsworth was involved in two films at the festival, “Pets Ahoy,” a film documenting a pirate themed animal show and “That Was Close,” a comedic short about a close call with death and Nicolas Cage.

This was Hollingsworth’s first time at the festival.

“It was slightly bizarre, to be honest,” she said. “A lot of the entries that made it into the film festival were stuff that I would have never considered in my entire life.”

One of the more bizarre films screened was “Fetal Encounter,” a film by Koltin Sullivan, whose plot involves an evil Nazi scientist dealing with two college students who need more information about fetal development.

“I’ve been obsessed with fetuses since high school,” Sullivan said.”I’ve been drawing artwork of fetuses since then, so it’s kind of like this weird obsession of mine, and I was able to incorporated it in a movie.”

The Gnome Award, a golden gnome statue for the best 909 movie went to director Dave Goldman of “Dead Drunk,” a zombie comedy action film.

After the awards filmmakers were brought to the stage for a brief discussion about inspirations and problems encountered during production of the films.

“It’s really interesting to see what people come up with,” Hollingsworth said.

The 909 Film Festival will have another screening Oct. 7 in the Arts and Communications Building room 212.

For more information visit 909junkie.com.

Karo Chakhlasyan can be reached at karo.chakhlasyan@laverne.edu.

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