Napa Valley Film Festival student workshops

Writer/Director Kim Rocco Shields discusses original storyboard ideas with Kane Garcia, a Napa Independent Studies student, and his workshop partner from American Canyon High School.


This past January, the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF), in partnership with both NapaLearns and the Napa County Office of Education, announced a Napa County Student Short Film Competition for high school students interested in becoming the next Kubrick, Scorsese, or Spielberg.

With the entry deadline quickly coming to a close, organizers would like to remind all high school age students who live or study in Napa County, to submit their short films for consideration in the festival by June 2. Selected film projects will be showcased at the Napa Valley Film Festival, set for Nov. 8 through 12.

To help provide students with a competitive advantage in the competition, NVFF and NapaLearns collaborated on a series of free filmmaking workshops where students were given a chance to hone their storytelling and technical skills through instruction and hands-on learning with acclaimed directors. These workshops covered all aspects of the pre-production, production, and post-production stages of filmmaking, and prepared eager students for the challenge of creating a short film.

"I got a solid foundation of how to start working with my story ideas to make a film. The workshop really helped me organize my ideas and gave me a better understanding of the entire process," said Kane Garcia.

Another student, Sophie Cravea of New Tech High said, "I learned that if I have a concept for a story, I should stick with my original idea and not be afraid to further develop it. My idea could be made into a short film, or even a documentary, and wherever you take this is your choice. It was really important to realize that all of our ideas have value, and can go somewhere to tell a story through film."

Over 50 students from Napa County attended the three workshops.

Basic eligibility requirements of the student short film competition are as follows:

• Participating students must be of high school age living and/or studying in Napa County (at either a public or private institution or homeschooled).

• Students must have signed consent from a teacher or guardian for participation and submission of films.

Submitted films must:

  • Be 5 minutes in length (with a 15 second grace allowance for credits)
  • Contain non-copyrighted material (music, images, etc.)
  • Have school-appropriate content (no profanity, sexual content, drug/alcohol use)

Films will be selected in part by the following criteria:

• Story/Script Originality

• Cast/Talent

• Film Technical Quality

• NVFF Audience Appeal

“Our education programs are at the heart and soul of our mission,” said NVFF Co-Founder/Director Brenda Lhormer. “We are broadening our reach and impact on our local students by offering more hands-on workshops, filmmakers-in-the-schools programs, and community screenings all year round. Our students – and these programs - inspire us everyday. I can’t wait to celebrate our student filmmakers and their short films at the festival this fall.”

There are no fees to submit, and the submission deadline ends June 2. Winners will be announced in July.

A committee of educators, NVFF staff, and film industry professionals will review all competition submissions. Winning names and film titles will be screened at the festival and also be included in the NVFF Commemorative Program Guide as well as on the festival’s website and social channels.

A more detailed outline of the 2017 Education and Outreach Programs, as well as the new student film competition, can be found or by visiting the NVFF website at