Two Hancock Student Films to be Screened at SLOIFF

The 20th annual SLOIFF runs March 5-9.

FEBRUARY 25, 2014 -- Two groups of Allan Hancock College students have been selected to screen their films at the 2014 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF).  The announcement marks the first time films made by Hancock students are being shown at the festival since the SLOIFF started in 1993.

“I was in disbelief.  I did not believe my classmate until I checked the email announcement for myself,” said Noelle King, who wrote the script for one of the films called After Dusk

SLOIFF, Jordan McClearyThe two films were created last fall in an intermediate filmmaking class at Hancock taught by Robin Smith.  After Dusk and The Hardest Job will be featured during the Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase on Sunday, March 9.  They will be screened at 1 p.m., at the Downtown Cinemas, which are located at 888 Marsh Street in downtown San Luis Obispo.

“This is great exposure for the students and for the college.  The films will showcase to the world the abundance of talent and creativity within Hancock’s film and video production program,” said Smith.

Seven student directors and editors worked together to complete After Dusk.  The 12-minute film is about Dracula, who wants to become a professional photographer.  But he cannot take photos because of his aversion to light.

Each student was assigned one or two scenes to direct and edit.  “I loved working with all of them,” said King.  “It was challenging with seven directors and we could have made 40 different versions.  But we created something we are all proud of for people to enjoy and now they can.” 

SLOIFF, Trevor NelsonThe Hardest Job is a documentary about a mother who searches for ways to help her young son overcome issues related to Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  The audience learns at the end that the boy in the film is now an adult and the filmmaker.  It is based on the life of the documentary’s 20-year-old director, Trevor Nelson.  “Trevor and I were discussing ideas when he mentioned the problems he had as a child with ADHD, and I knew that was a great topic,” said Smith.

Students wore nearly every hat during production.  Righetti High School graduate Kelsey Bystrom applied the make-up to the actor playing Dracula, on top of directing, filming and editing a scene.  She was also the cinematographer during one of the interviews for The Hardest Job.  “The documentary was a very personal project for Trevor.  I am honored to help capture and deliver the touching story,” said Bystrom. 

The project also taught Bystrom a lesson unrelated to making movies.  “The mother we interviewed told us a story of when her son with ADHD noticed he was different from his brother and could not do the same things,” Bystrom recalled.  “The mother broke down and told her son there was no one in the world like him and she wouldn’t want him to be anyone else.  It shows people need to embrace who they are because there will never be another you.”

Students are allowed to speak to the audience after their films are screened during the festival.  Smith hopes Nelson and his mother will take advantage of the opportunity to further share their inspirational message.

“To have your work for the world to see, even if it’s just in your community, is very humbling and rewarding.  I hope people enjoy our films,” Smith said.

The 20th annual SLOIFF runs from March 5-9.  For more information on the film and video production program at Allan Hancock College call 805.922.6966 ext. 3252 or email

- AHC -

Photo Captions:
(Left) Jordan McCleary instructs his crew during the filming of After Dusk.  The short film’s main character Dracula is played by John Cullinan.  After Dusk is one of two films made by Hancock students that will be screened at the San Luis Obispo International Festival on March 9.

(Right) Trevor Nelson wrote and directed the documentary The Hardest Job to pay tribute to his mother for helping him overcome ADHD as a child.  The documentary is one of two films made by Allan Hancock College students that are being screened at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on March 9.



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Last Modified Mar 8, 2018