Sunset Beacon

Rockin’ with Ribbons

Second and third graders from the Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, called the “ribbon dancers,” perform a special ribbon dance while wearing their personalized costumes at the 10th annual Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center Community Film Festival.


By Ivan Huang

Just 19 days removed from the 2014 Oscars, the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center (SNBC) announced the winners for its own film award ceremony, the SNBC’s annual Community Film Festival.

The “People’s Choice Award” for films came in as a tie between Robert Louis Stevenson and Sunset elementary schools.

It was the organization’s tenth annual film festival, a showcase that took place at the Ulloa Elementary School auditori- um on the evening of March 21.

The film festival showcased family- friendly films with play times ranging from 30 seconds to 8 minutes, as well as live dance performances (all by students).

“It’s so great to see the variety of per- formances here at the 10th annual SNBC Film Festival,” said two-time festival host Antonio Rodriguez. Megan Agee, a Stanford graduate who has been director of the SNBC for more than two years, was impressed by all of the performances.

“The amazing part about our videos is that each one is conceived by the students working with their adult leaders,” Agee said.

In the packed auditorium, the guests were given the opportunity at the end of the night to vote for their favorite film, with the film receiving the most votes being deemed the “People’s Choice Award.”

The performances started out with a group of students in the second through fifth grades ribbon dancing to Chinese harp music. The ribbons came in all col- ors and their movements were showcased by colorful artistry.

Following the first performance was an appearance by District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang, who was adamant about the stu- dents continuing to do what they do out- side the classrooms to pursue their dreams.

“What’s important to us is that the youth try new things and they experience and they explore,” Agee said.

“This is their opportunity, this is their time. Later in life they don’t have the same (amount) of opportunities available to them. They’re more focused on their careers,” Agee said. “So, for us this is the time to nurture the natural talent that they have.”

Robert Louis Stevenson later show- cased a touching film advocating against bullying in a two-part series named “Pledge to be Bully Free.”

The first part of the series was with all boys. The second part all girls. It por- trayed a boy and a girl standing up to bul- lying with the help of their peers.

After a series of short films done with animations and drawings by participants of the A.P. Giannini afterschool program, Katie Hwang of Sunset Media Wave stunned the audience with her cover of Maroon 5’s “This Love.”

Hwang’s cover song is part of a new program within the SNBC and many high schools called the Sunset Media Wave.

“It’s a teen program, so it’s basically teenagers from high schools all through- out San Francisco and they come together and they actually have an online blog where each individual teen member of Sunset Media Wave has a column,” Agee said.

“Katie does covers for songs that she likes and that’ll go up on the blog and she’ll write a little bit about it explaining why she chose to cover that song.”

After all of the short films were shown, the festival capped off the show with breakdancing from the A.P. Giannini Breakdance Club, West Sunset Rec Connect Advanced Hip-Hop Dance Team and Ulloa Hip-Hop Dance Team.

Proud parent Johnston Choy watched his son Monty perform.

“I had fun watching them, seeing what they are capable of,” Choy said. “It’s good to see such a big turnout.”

The SNBC is a San Francisco-based community development non-profit orga- nization located in the Sunset District. It serves 1,000 youth and adults daily via afterschool programs, adult learning opportunities, technology and media arts programs and community services.

Categories: Sunset Beacon

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