200 Student and Professional Filmmakers Attend Sonscreen Film Festival


Hacksaw Ridge producer Bill Mechanic keynotes, among others

More than 200 student and professional filmmakers and guests attended the 2017 Sonscreen Film Festival held at Loma Linda University in California. The three-day festival, run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America (NAD), screened 39 official selections from student filmmakers. The event culminated with a closing reception and awards ceremony, with 10 student films garnering awards.

Ten professional films were also screened at this year’s festival. Q&A sessions were conducted after film block screenings and guest presentations. Special guests to the festival included Bill Mechanic (producer, Hacksaw Ridge), Debora Galloway (head of grassroots marketing, Hacksaw Ridge), Terry Benedict (producer, Hacksaw Ridge), Kevin Ekvall (director, Come Before Winter), Stew Harty (director, Loma Linda University Church media department), David George (professor, Southern Adventist University), NAD president Dan Jackson, and Williams Costa Jr., communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters.

“This year’s festival showcased some of the best student filmmaking we’ve ever had. We were also able to host several award-winning professional filmmakers to share their knowledge with the students,” said Julio Muñoz, director of the Sonscreen Film Festival and associate director of the NAD Office of Communication. “We want these students to grow artistically, and to know that their films play an important part in sharing hope and making our world more inclusive.”

  • Julio Muñoz talks to film producer Bill Mechanic about his career, including his work on “Hacksaw Ridge,” the recent film on Adventist Army medic Desmond Doss, on April 6, 2017. [Photo by Pieter Damsteegt]
  • Audience Choice Award winners, Andrews University students Denae Keizs, Heidi Ramirez, Kiana Gurley, and Madai Villa, pose for a photo with Julio Muñoz, Sonscreen Film Festival director, and Kimberly Luste Maran, NAD Office of Communication assistant director. [Photo by Pieter Damsteegt]


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