Hundreds Of Students Attend Palm Springs International Film Festival’s ‘Student Screening Day’

Tiani Jadulang

Over 350 students from around the region joined together this afternoon for the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s annual student screening.

The screening showcased two films, a feature-length documentary and a short-film, hoping to inspire young local students.

“It has been an amazing blessing to have such an opportunity to come out to this end of the valley to have people share their love for film and their love for creating.” Alex Jackson, the Director of Impact at Indio High School says.

Year after year, the Palm Springs International Film Fest works with students interested in pursuing film, right here in the Coachella Valley.

This year, the fest hosted two separate days for film screenings, Thursday afternoon at Indio High School, and Friday at Palm Springs High School.

“Just a way for us to extend educational outreach to students that may not have the opportunity otherwise, the students are involved in an Impact program at their school or a film studies program or visual arts.” Jennifer Van Camp, the Programming and Education Coordinator for the Film Fest says. 

The two films screened on Thursday, “Going Varsity in Mariachi”’ and “Team Meryland.”

The filmmaker and main character of Team Meryland, whose documentary was previously featured in the 2021 Shortfest, told the story of Meryland Gonzalez and her journey as a young boxer.

Both the main character Meryland Gonzalez and Film Director Gabriel Gaurano, stuck around after the film screening to answer some questions from the students.

“I just had such a fun time and I think it was really great having to meet them and for them to ask. I felt like I was talking to like people I knew for like a long time. Like they’re really great kids. and I just thought it was really nice to share my story and hope to inspire them as well. Whatever they wanted to.” Gonzalez adds.

It’s safe to say, the question and answer portion after the screening was a favorite for the students who participated, “I think it was really cool and being able to like pick their brains and see what they think or just seeing them in person and seeing how it translate from film to real life or seeing how much they’ve done and how much dedication they put into each other things and seeing it in film form which is really cool.” Kaylee Cuevas, a student at Indio High School says.

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