Culver City Observer -

Kid Scoop Covers The LA Film Festival


By: Lauren Berger

The LA Film Festival shone a bright light on 2017’s Future Filmmakers. An annual contest, Future Filmmakers celebrates the artistic achievements of budding film producers worldwide.

Selected from a pool of more than 700 short films, this year’s 15 winning shorts stood out for their technical ability, originality, creativity, and their strong unwavering voices. To make matters even more impressive, all films were made by high schoolers and screened by high school jurors.

Ranging from all genres, the selected short films transferred like mixed paints onto a finished canvas. An animated short, David Bowie tribute, horror-thriller, and two documentaries (one on virtual reality, the other on a teenage drag queen) were just some of the amazing talent present at this year’s festival.

When asked what one message she wanted audiences to leave with, Erika Kroll (director of “Confessions of a Teenage Drag Queen) responded, “although it’s cliché, to [just] be yourself.” Kroll’s documentary recounts the brazen authenticity with which Stephen Richards (a.k.a. Tiffany Tonic) lives his life. Contrasting Richards’ rebellious artistry with his conservative hometown, Kroll manages to capture LGBT struggles without belaboring it.

Echoing Kroll’s message of empowerment, “When Was The Last Time You Washed Your Face” (Emma Siegel) experimentally explores beauty and the confines placed on self-expression.

After all 15 shorts were screened the 2017 Future Filmmakers sat for an honorary luncheon at Culver Studios with guest speaker Daniel Kwan, a distinguished producer and one half of the directing duo the “Daniels”. Mr. Kwan gave a presentation on memetics (the study of memes) and connected it to a career in filmmaking.

A meme, Kwan explained, is a piece of information that spreads and evolves from one mind to the next, similar to the spread of genetics. In turn, memetics is the study of how thoughts/ideas are transferred and what makes certain thoughts/ideas more successful (more popular) than others.

Kwan noted that as a filmmaker he struggled with how to make the meme of his film both clickbait worthy and telling of a deeper truth. He stressed that a filmmaker’s concerns over reaching a large audience should fall secondary to the ultimate purpose of filmmaking: to share point of views, bring people together, and expand empathy.

Captivating and persuasive, but looking around the room, Daniel Kwan hardly needed to remind his audience on what made a meaningful film; through every short, the passion of the Future Filmmakers beamed as clearly as a if projected onto a movie screen.

Special shout out to Culver City’s top-notch McComb Orthodontics for their sponsorship and support of KSM Kid Scoop Media. Please check them out at


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