By Linda Hutchison
La Jolla High School is about to host its first film festival, thanks to senior and aspiring filmmaker Julian Clark. The event will be held Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium and is open to the public.
All current La Jolla High students are welcome to submit a film or video for the festival, as long as they enter by May 1 and follow two rules: the video must be under 10 minutes in length and it must include at least one potato.
Why a potato? "It’s an object anyone can acquire easily," said Julian.
Whether the talent to create winning videos is as easily acquired will be a matter for the judges to decide. In addition to himself, Julian has lined up two surf film producers, Peter King and Ira Opper, to judge the entries. Winners will receive cash prizes and trophies.
Julian's talent for creating videos has evolved since his freshman year, when he first became interested in shooting and editing them on his laptop. "I would carry my computer around, using its camera," he said. "Since then, it has become a huge passion. I've progressed from using iMovie on a small computer to Final Cut Pro Solution on an iMac."
Along the way he has also added a professional video camera, lenses, lights, and sound equipment, requiring a huge bag to carry it all. To pay for his equipment, Julian started doing freelance jobs, including shooting weddings and a music video – "Trouble" – for the band Neverready. Currently, he is working on a documentary for Los Angeles-based fashion designer Lloyd Klein and has formed his own company, Foreground Productions.
"The last two years have been amazing," said Julian.
As his own love for filmmaking grew, Julian said, he realized that there was not a lot of collaboration with other student filmmakers. "I wanted to reach out, bring other film lovers together," he said, and so the idea of holding a film festival seemed like a good way to accomplish this. "I hope to leave a legacy," he added. He also hopes the festival will expand.
“In the future, I see the film festival growing even bigger," he said, "big enough to include other schools in order to really create a film festival for the youth of La Jolla, even all of San Diego! I am very excited with this project and I can't wait to see how it expands in the coming years."
Julian, who will be 18 on graduation day, June 12, plans to study filmmaking in Brussels, Belgium. Although he has lived in La Jolla since he was 2, he was born in Belgium to a Belgian mother and American father, has dual citizenship, and speaks French.
Originally he thought he'd like to study film editing, but now is interested in doing it all, from producing to directing, "from step one to the ending." He also enjoys studying psychology, particularly the study of mental disorders, and psychological thrillers, such as "Memento."
While Julian has created most of the promotional materials for the film festival himself, he has received support and encouragement from La Jolla High teacher and Associated Student Body Advisor Kerry Dill and Student Body President Erik Vanstrum.
There will be a $5 entry fee for the festival, payable at the door.
For more information on submitting an entry or attending the festival, visit