DVC instructor graces the international film festival scene


Courtesy of Drew Beck

Robert Richert, directing his new short on location in Mendocino, CA early January of 2014.

Regina Ortanez, Arts & features editor

World renowned San Francisco International Film Festival showcases a film by DVC’s film instructor Robert Richert.

A Berkeley native, Richert was among the lucky few chosen to have their film play at this year’s festival. He describes his newest film, “No One but Lydia” as a light, coming-of-age, stoner comedy with an abundance of fun, quick camera movements.”

The local festival is described as being the “crown jewel” of the San Francisco Film Society and is currently celebrating it’s 57th year as being the longest-running film festival in the Americas, according to their website.

As the name claims, the festival features films from around the world, including from the Bay Area.

“I wrote it with the intention, of going as far, from my last film, as possible and found that, at the end of the day while both have very different tones, they have a lot in common in terms of theme,” said Richert. “Both focused on teenage boys who become lovesick, and discover something about themselves through that process of getting over their obsessions.”

In an interview, Richert spoke on the San Francisco International Film Festival, praising it for being the renowned festival that it is. He also went on to say how it was the first festival he ever attended and left a screening crying, before running into one of the filmmakers and shaking their hand.

“That’s the kind of magic a festival can bring to a creator. Seeing exactly how your film connects to a complete stranger,” he said.

“As long as I have been making films I have hoped to screen there.”

When asked about her thoughts on Richert’s recent accomplishment, fellow filmmaking instructor, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, who has also been featured in a film festival, said enthusiastically:

“I think it’s great. Clearly, the students respond and are interested in the fact that we show our work professionally and that we are committed to our creative processes. Students are able to see how our relationships with the broader film community are and what the potentials are for their own selves.”

Nick Jackson, a broadcasting communications major at DVC, shares similar sentiments about his teachers.

“Rob’s really cool. He’s very enthusiastic. I love learning about making films from him,” he said. “And because he’s had stuff in festivals, it’s like I know that he knows what he’s doing. Kristy, as well. They know what they’re doing.”

Richert says, that his biggest influence are the people around him and that one of his many inspirations are his students.

“I think that there is no better way to cement one’s knowledge of a subject than to teach it to another person,” said Richert in regard to how being a teacher at DVC has influenced his work. “My students inspire me. They’re full of ideas and an enthusiasm that is a constant shot in the arm of creative energy.”

When asked what he hopes to accomplish with his work, as both a filmmaker and an instructor, Richert replied: “Empathy is what I hope to evoke in the hearts of my audience members. Empathy is also a tool we need to practice in writing our stories.”

“We are forced to think about what adversities our characters need to face, that would challenge them most and what would allow them to grow and become more whole, as people.”

The San Francisco International Film Festival runs from April 24, till May 8.