Image Credit: Courtesy of Matt Webster

WWU Students Gain Experience at Sonscreen Film Festival

In early April 2024, 16 Walla Walla University film students attended Sonscreen Film Festival in Loma Linda, California. The annual film festival is sponsored by North American Division and serves as a connection hub where students and young professionals can meet with peers and established filmmakers.

Krista VanHook, senior film, TV and media major, had her dramatic short film, Taste, screened Saturday evening, followed by an audience Q&A. She said much of her preparation was spent in prayer: “I wanted to make sure I was opening myself up fully to being used by God and not letting my ego get in the way of that when I got on stage.”

Friday evening included a film premiere of Color of Threads, a WWU short film written by Josie Henderson, WWU alumna. The film was made possible through the collaboration of several film professionals and WWU students. Samantha Hodges, junior film, TV and media major who worked on the film, said, “My absolute favorite part of the festival was watching the final product on the big screen. Seeing how it touched so many people truly inspired me.”

Hodges said the trip showed her the diverse job opportunities within film and was a great networking opportunity. She connected with Kristina Daley, The Chosen assistant director, while Vanhook met John Quinn, The Chosen head editor, who agreed to be a guest speaker on her podcast, Creative by Design. VanHook and Hodges also built relationships with other Adventist university film students.

“Sonscreen is so valuable to me as a Christian because being a person of faith who wants to enter into a largely secular industry can feel so isolating at times,” said VanHook. She appreciated how the festival serves as a gathering place for people who are both Christians and creatives. She recalled her favorite part was the opportunity to be surrounded by so much art made by such wonderful artists. VanHook added that Sonscreen is an event that never disappoints.

To see clips from the Sonscreen trip and hear more from Samantha Hodges, visit WWU’s Instagram page