Film Club members volunteer at Palo Alto film festival


Howard Lee

Film Club members volunteer at Palo Alto film festival from El Estoque on Vimeo.

On Oct. 21, two large bright spotlights turned in their sockets to display the intimate Aquarius Theatre on Emerson Street in Palo Alto. A line of forty-something people curled around the side of the venue and the smell of free espresso from Venetia Coffee lingered in the air. Inside, volunteers and contributors to the 14th United Nations Association Film Festival by the Camera As Witness program prepared for the 10-day event’s premiere. In line to view these documentaries were students from Film Club, who were dressed in black t-shirts like other volunteers, with photo cameras in hand.

Over the course of the festival, 70 documentaries from 70 different countries are scheduled to be shown at various locations, including East Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Stanford University. The overarching theme of the films is “Education is a Human Right.” Opening night was no-charge entry for interested viewers. The films that were shown including “The Thing That Happened” by Andrew Walton, “Pink Saris” by Kim Longinotto, and “Once Upon a Rooftop” by Sybil Wendler.

Film Club had come not just to view the screenings, but to aid in volunteering. President junior Preston Yeung lingered outside with other members of Film Club to take photos of people waiting in line on opening night. The pictures were then compiled into a slide show that was presented on Oct. 24 at AOL Patch, Palo Alto, to show people enjoying the festival.

Yeung has been volunteering at film festivals since he joined Film Club last year. This year his goal is to get members involved in small groups and inspire them. Many film festivals, such as UNAFF, have panel discussions where film makers discuss the subjects and process of their documentaries, which Yeung believes are great opportunities to learn about film.

“Last year [we] just filmed drama productions, school events, [and] Homecoming. This year, we want to go to competitions, so we are here to learn techniques,” Yeung said. Since Film club strives to be more active, listen for their overall development as club throughout the year.