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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

2nd Annual La Junta film festival

Photo contributed by Flickr.

By Madison Lira

On Dec. 16, the second annual La Junta, Colo. Film Festival will be held at the Fox Theater, where featured middle and high school students get to show off short films they have made to be entered into the festival. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the films created by these youngsters. The film festival entry for adults will be $5, and for children it will be $3. 

Cash prizes are being offered to the winners of the film festival. Not only that, the La Junta Film Festival will also partner with the up-and-coming Pueblo Film Festival to bring both professional filmmaker equipment and filmmakers to help the winners with their short films to enter them into the Pueblo Film Festival next year!

This year’s theme for the Southeast festival is “There’s No Place Like Home.” Many students, especially in the small towns of Colorado, dream of leaving that small town and waiting for the opportunity to escape. The creator and organizer of the film festival and a fellow student, Anya Miller, had discussed choosing this theme for the festival this year. 

Miller said, “I chose this theme because I wanted the students who enter to take the time to appreciate where they are from. Our community is special. It represents togetherness and closeness. We work together, and we support each other.” 

It is easy to get carried away with these dreams of leaving, hoping one day for a new start to life in some new exciting place. Miller hopes that just as much as you dream of getting away, you’ll take the time to reflect on the people and places that helped shape you into who you are today.

Miller had started the festival as part of a project for an internship she had with the help and support of her supervisor, Cynthia Nieb. Miller had discussed the frustrations of having the lack of any art competitions in a reachable area as a student. 

“If I wanted to take a class or enter into a competition, there was nothing close by,” said Miller. For kids in the Southeastern part of the state, there are minimal opportunities to express and experiment in different art forms or compete with their art. Miller’s main goal for the festival was to make the arts accessible to students, and it has expanded beyond that goal. 

“I want students to know that even though they don’t have many opportunities to show it, they are capable of doing cool things. For me, creating the film festival was that opportunity, and I want to share my experience with the rest of the students in Southeast Colorado,” said Miller. 

It is common among many young students that they will only be able to do or create something meaningful once they are adults. It is hard to believe this. For rural students, this thought is constantly running through their heads as there are limitations for those attending school with less developed programs for them to express themselves. For Miller, she admits to those limitations that are in place for rural students living in the small towns in the state. 

She said this for encouragement, “I want the up-and-coming students of Southeast Colorado to know that they can do cool things. I want them to know that the limits of where they are from do not define what they can do.”

Miller discusses that many students who enter the film festival have never made anything like a short film before. Even if they decide never to make a short film again outside of this festival, it gives them a chance to dabble in the art form and find creative expression for their ideas.

It is crucial that all students, no matter where they live or go to school, have a chance to find a way to express themselves and show off their talents to those around them. Whether it be sports, the sciences, or most importantly, the arts, each student deserves the chance to find their passion that they enjoy. 

“I created the film festival to give students the opportunity to join the arts community around them and to teach them how to express their ideas through film,” said Miller.

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