Redwood High and Spring Valley Elementary reel in awards

Schools win Best of Show awards at Slick Rock Student Film Festival showcasing middle school and high school filmmakers in the Central Valley

VISALIA – Middle school and high school students from across the Central Valley sent in their submissions to be played on the big screen.

Slick Rock Student Film Festival is Central California’s premier film competition for middle and high school students in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare counties. Redwood High School in Visalia, Calif. and Spring Valley Elementary, a K-8 school in O’Neals, Calif., won best of show out of 38 schools and 440 submissions to the festival organized by the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE).

According to TCOE’s website, the Slick Rock Student Film Festival motivates students to meet standards of film production for both middle school and high school age groups. The standards are organized around four artistic processes (creating, performing, presenting and producing, responding and connecting) set by the California State Board of Education.

The festival rolled out the red carpet for student filmmakers on May 12 at the Visalia Fox Theatre. Below is a complete list of this year’s Slick Rock winners:

  • Best of Show – Middle School: Caliber Customs, Spring Valley Elementary School (Sienna Pulido, Frannie Morris – General Advertisement)
  • Best of Show – High School: Maestro, Redwood High School (Ian Cook, Tyler Patterson, Tori Patterson, William Youngquist, Ashtyn Cripps, Micah Stipech – Blockbuster)
  • Animation: Down the Mountain, El Diamante High School (Sebastian Calvanese-Carter)
  • Blockbuster – Middle School: Trail of Fortune, Heartland Charter School (Benjamin Embry, Parker Embry, Caden Noorthoek, Judah Noorthoek)
  • Blockbuster – High School: Maestro, Redwood High School (Ian Cook, Tyler Patterson, Tori Patterson, William Youngquist, Ashtyn Cripps, Micah Stipech)
  • Documentary – Middle School: USA Flag History, Clark Intermediate School (Matthew Bailey, Matthew Valenzuela, Jude Palumbo)
  • Documentary – High School: Stray: The Story Behind Animal Shelters, The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (Danielle Lopez Ramirez, Natasha Mach)
  • General Advertisement – Middle School: Caliber Customs, Spring Valley Elementary School (Sienna Pulido, Frannie Morris)
  • General Advertisement – High School: MilkT Society Boba, Sunnyside High School (Sean Her, Kevin Vang)
  • General Public Service Announcement – Middle School: Your Life Matters. Our Lives Matter Burton Middle School (Marcelina Cabatu, Alexa Quezada, Jaslene Rodriguez, Ezecue Leon)
  • General Public Service Announcement – High School: The Chicken Club, Career & Technical Education Center (Shelby Wood)
  • Music Video – Cover: Never There, El Diamante High School (Leandra Calvanese-Carter, Sebastian Calvanese-Carter, Josslyn Caskey, Lauren Crawford, Thomas Martinez, Isabella Saenz)
  • Music Video – Original: Commuovere, Redwood High School (Beatrice Sanjaya, Eli Bradshaw, Juliet Prosser, Jordan Nguyen)
  • News Broadcast: Ranger TV Tyler Stark Story, Redwood High School (Nikko Gutierrez, Malayna Nieto, Tyler Stark, Daniela Zapien, Ciera Alvarez, Natalie McDonnell)
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity PSA: Eat Healthy, Be Healthy, Redwood High School (Hannah Johnson, Brooklyn Amstutz, Ian Cook, Micah Stipech, William Youngquist)
  • Opioid, Fentanyl, and Marijuana Prevention PSA: 5 Steps To Stop The Overdose, West  High School (Azarriyah Jackson, Natalie Tello, Betsy Leyva)
  • Social Mania: Social Media’s Negative Effect on Mental Health: Be Safe Be Responsible, Redwood High School (Hannah Johnson, Tanner Hoffman, Elijah Backlund, Torran Mancour, Brooklyn Amstulz)
  • Sports Highlights: Cowhide 67, Redwood High School (Nikko Gutierrez, Jacob Perch, Grace Hyatt, Eddie Carino, Gabe Alaniz, Natalie McDonnell)

Suicide Prevention PSA: Nothing Is As It Seems, Mission Oak High School (Jocelyn Gomez Ontiveros)

The festival was created to improve student writing as a result of a federal grant facilitated by Congressman Devin Nunes in 2003 to address poor test scores in English language arts. The Slick Rock Student Film Festival was started in 2004 by Visalia Unified School District.

Part of the funding was used to help students write scripts and learn the language of film to tell well-written stories. Even after the federal funding ended in 2005, the festival caught the attention of community and technology partners. This allowed the festival to continue and expand from Tulare County to the entire Central Valley. TCOE has continued the tradition since 2013.

Today the festival still engages students in a positive environment that will teach them skills to compete in a global economy.

Slick Rock is generously supported by the Tulare County Suicide Prevention Task Force, ABC30, EECU, Kaweah Health, and Tulare County HHSA Programs (Operation Prevention; Tobacco-Free Coalition; and the Alcohol & Other Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services).

For more information on Slick Rock and the winning films, visit

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