Poppy Jasper International Film Festival Returns
a Cultural Arts
Written By Robin Shepherd
Mattie Scariot, Festival Director
spring draws near, a growing community
of independent fi lmmakers and fi lmgoers
are anticipating the return of the Poppy
Jasper International Film Festival. The popular regional event
will take place April 3rd through 7th, 2019, shining a festive
spotlight on downtown Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
According to Festival Director Mattie Scariot, “This year’s
festival is all about building upon our success in 2018, which
hosted more than 3,000 visitors, including hundreds of film-
makers, and screened 90 films from 28 different countries.”
The 2019 program will feature high-quality short and
feature films, guest appearances by film industry luminaries,
networking mixers, and live entertainment, with gala and
awards celebrations book-ending the event.
“I want us to always be known as a fi lm festival that
engages, educates and embraces the cultural impact of fi lm,”
DAYS OF GREAT FILMS
PJIFF’s panel of jurors followed a careful process to review
submitted fi lms and select fi nalists for screening and
recognition at the festival. PJIFF Film Chair, Lesley Miles,
explained the process.
“Hundreds of submissions came in from filmmakers of
all ages, featuring a variety of genres, and ranging from one
minute to two hours long,” Miles said. “We reviewed the films
individually, then as a group, using criteria focused on quality
of screenwriting, acting, cinematography, and production.”
Miles sees PJIFF as a welcoming and intimate setting
for artists and audiences to connect: “Festival goers like to
meet fi lmmakers and hear why or how they make fi lms, and
fi lmmakers are always hungry to hear viewers’ reactions to
their fi lms.”
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN
PANELS OF FILM INDUSTRY EXPERTS
Women in Film Panel
Moderated by Morgan Hill resident, Kulvinder Arora,
this panel will explore the image of women in important
roles behind the camera and how to bridge the industry’s
traditional gender gap.
Film Industry Panel
Moderator Chike Nwoffi ah and guest panelists will share
stories from their fi lm career journeys; along with their
perspectives on Hollywood and independent fi lmmaking
today, technically and artistically.
Film Distribution Panel
Led by Moderator Rebekah Renne, panelists will discuss how
new strategies and methods of fi lm distribution are changing
the industry, the rise of short fi lms and their distribution, and
the impact of a global fi lm market on distribution.
In the run-up to the fi lm festival, hands-on fi lmmaker work-
shops are being produced with support from Community
Media Access Partnership, the Morgan Hill and Gilroy
libraries, and the YMCA. All completed fi lms produced by
workshop participants will be shown during the fi lm festival.
According to Katie Khera, a member of the Morgan
Hill Library, Culture & Arts Commission, “I think the
entire community stands to benefit from the Poppy Jasper
International Film Festival. They’re offering a series of three
guided workshop programs, for youth, adults, and seniors
who want to try their hand at making a short film.” Khera
also serves as a PJIFF board member.