‘Gavys’ light up the stage

Gavilan students show off films in annual event

BEST OF THE BEST Giggly Dickens won the award for Best Production Company. Photo: Contributed

For any filmmaker, the true test of their work’s effectiveness comes when it is shown in front of an audience.

Gavilan College students got to experience those nerve-wracking butterflies when the college’s Film, Television and Electronic Media Department held its second annual Film Showcase on April 26.

“Unless an audience sees it, they don’t know what can work and what won’t work,” said Grant Richards, lead instructor of the department. “It’s very enlightening. Especially with a large audience, you can hear them gasp, you can hear the laughter, sometimes the crickets when you were hoping for a reaction.”

More than 420 people attended the showcase at the Gavilan Theater to view the 25 films, ranging from comedies, dramas, music videos, horror and many others.

Seven awards, known as the “Gavys,” were handed out for best actress, best screenplay and more. Richards said that even though all the instructors who determined the winners were all on the same page, it was not an easy process.

“We wish we could’ve given two or three more awards because there are so many talented people,” he said.

The films were produced over a year in various classes offered by the department, from screenwriting, editing, audio production and more.

Starting in the fall, Gavilan will offer an associate’s degree in film, television and electronic media, which can be used to transfer to a university.

Many students who completed the program have gone on to film careers and even started their own companies, Richards said. One of those companies is Giggly Dickens, which has launched a successful Youtube channel that is generating revenue for the filmmakers.

Richards was joined by fellow instructors Tim Ahlin and Jeronimo Garcia, as well as Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Fran Lozano, in handing out the awards. Lozano, who helped start the film program and is retiring at the end of the semester, received a standing ovation, Richards said.

“Our films are getting better,” he said. “Our whole program is growing. My guess is it’s going to be even bigger next year. We’re so excited about it that we are going to do [the showcase] every year.”

Best Actress: Sophie Warren

Best Actor: Joseph Sanchez

Best Editing: Honna Afzal

Best Screenplay: Grady Fiorio

Best Cinematography: Derek May

Best Director: Gio Silva

Best Production Company: Giggly Dickens

Erik Chalhoub
About Erik Chalhoub
Erik Chalhoub is the editor of South Valley. Prior to joining the magazine in March 2019, he worked for seven years at The Pajaronian in Watsonville, the last four as managing editor.