Cameo Cinema, Napa Valley Film Festival 2017

St. Helena's iconic Cameo Cinema was one of five Upvalley locations to show the films of the Napa Valley Film Festival last year.

An expanded summer camp for students who are interested in making narrative and documentary films continues in the next two weeks.

The Friends of the Cameo and the Napa Valley Film Festival have collaborated on three sessions for aspiring filmmakers. The first on screenwriting was held June 10-11 at the Napa County Office of Education.

Teaching the classes are Rajeev Sigamoney, associate professor of Film & TV Production at Pacific Union College, and Tim de la Torre, resident artist at PUC’s Film Department.

The second session, a documentary film camp, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday, June 18, through Friday, June 22, at Pacific Union College. The camp is limited to 20 students, who will work in small groups developing and producing a short documentary film.

The first two days will focus on pre-production, including research, interviewing techniques and camera basics; Wednesday is production day with shooting on location with the subjects; and Thursday and Friday is post-production, editing video and sound into a completed short documentary film.

The third session, which continues the screenwriting class, is the production of two narrative films from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Monday, June 25, through Friday, June 29, also at Pacific Union College.

Following the screenwriting workshop, the teachers selected two scripts that students will make into films. During the week, students will learn all aspects of the filmmaking process and work in teams in each of the roles.

Students from ages 13 to 18 are being sought, who live in Napa, Sonoma or Lake counties. Cost is $200 per camp and scholarships are available.

“This is the first year we’ve done a full week of camp,” said Blair Hunt, the Education & Outreach Director for the Napa Valley Film Festival. Last year, the NVFF did three day-long camps, for pre-production, production and post-production in March, April and May. She calls the 2018 camps an “elevated experience” and two films, produced by students, will come out of the camps. They will be shown on Monday, Nov. 12, which is the film festival’s “Community Screening Day,” held in the Napa Valley Unified School District’s auditorium.

Hunt added, “The partnership with the Cameo is very important for us.”

For registration and details on the camps visit

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St. Helena Star Editor

David Stoneberg is the editor of the St. Helena Star, an award-winning weekly newspaper. Prior to joining the Star in 2006, he worked for the Lake County Record-Bee, the Clear Lake Observer American, the Middletown Times Star, The Weekly Calistogan and st