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Film festival showcases work of LMS students

"WICA presents a Gala Film Opening of the Langley Middle School Arts-in-Education Project student films on Monday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. Admission is free. Call 221-8268 for information.A group of 17 students at Langley Middle School have been working since early September with local film and television artist Douglas Dirkson and LMS media specialist Charles Snelling, in a hands-on after school arts program teaching all aspects of video production. On Monday, the students will show their original short videos in a gala film opening at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.The students participating in the project learned and practiced a broad range of acting, directing, technical and computer editing skills, while working in creative teams to make short videos. Some students took the initiative and created their own stories through independent camera work; others created documentary-style segments and short interviews. The filming was done at various locations around the school and involved several different creative teams.A real sense of an actual film production set was created, Dirkson said. Dirkson has had a lengthy and prestigious professional stage, film and television career. He has acted on television shows including “L.A. Law” and “Northern Exposure” and appeared in countless television commercials. He was affiliated for 25 years with the Lee Strasberg Institute in Hollywood and Seattle. Students who get to work with Doug are really lucky,” said Elise Forier, WICA’a executive director. “He's a great teacher and he knows everything about making movies. This is the third project in which Dirkson has been involved in with LMS students. Last spring he worked with a group to create an original anti-smoking documentary. In 1998, he worked with another group of students on a student video about peer pressure.The community is invited to join WICA and LMS students in this lively celebration of student achievement and creativity. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. The Arts-in-Education Project was funded in part by the Washington State Arts Commission, with additional funding from the Boeing Company.For more information visit the WICA Web site: www.whidbey.com/wica"

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