Covering Jewish Life in Orange County

Global Attraction: TVT Film Festival

When the TVT Film Festival opens its doors on March 30 at the Port Theater in Corona del Mar, it will screen films representing the best works of filmmakers from schools around the world. Now in its 12th year, the film festival will award prizes and combine the screening with the debut of an album written and produced by the TVT Advanced Institute Band and selected works from the TVT Poetry Anthology.

Mistress of Ceremonies for the event is professional actress Mary E. Kennedy. She is the new recurring character New Fiona on Shameless, season 7. She plays Mrs. Searcy in the feature, Shattered, with a 2017 release date, and co-stars in the feature film, Creative Differences.

Serving as judges are Heather Robinson, screenwriter, producer, author and philanthropist; and Tom Logan, writer, director and producer. Robinson sold her first screenplay, The Perfect Man, to Universal Pictures, and it became a movie starring Hilary Duff, Heather Locklear and Chris Noth. She has developed, written and produced various projects, including a short documentary, Dog Power. Logan has written and directed numerous television films and pilots, including seven films at Universal Studios and thirteen other films that are in worldwide release.

As Kevin Bachelder, TVT’s director of the Advanced Institute of Arts & Writing and director of the film festival, explained, “TVT is a small K-12 Jewish Day School in Irvine California, but it boasts perhaps the best film program in Orange County. Under the inspired direction of Kim Hays, a TVT teacher who moved to Texas, for the first nine years of the film festival, TVT showcased ‘best of’ episodes of its school news broadcast, TVT Today, as well as student films generated by the Jewish Studies class. But the crowning jewel of TVT’s film program has always been its feature film. This film is the undertaking of the Advanced Institute film class and is really four classes in one: screen writing, set design, acting and cinematography.”

According to Bachelder, 2015 was the first year TVT took its showcase and expanded it to a festival with a competitive category highlighting student films from around the state and country. It became a vehicle to reach out to the community in Orange and Los Angeles counties and well beyond. The submission process begins in January and ends in early March.

“Film as a standalone art form is relatively new, but it’s now more accessible to people with a camera, software and desire,” Bachelder said. “Equipment for filmmaking is small but good quality and fairly inexpensive. Film will be taught in schools, it will be ubiquitous and it will be here to stay.”

The film festival, sponsored by the Hales family, is slated for March 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Port Theater, 2905 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar. Tickets are $10 at the door. For more information on the film festival, contact