Film festival inspires students

"Lights, camera, action" is what Edmar Flores has been saying since he was boy. After his little fingers held a Super 8 camera, he knew he was meant to make movies.

Although Flores traveled around the world and worked in various film projects as a trained filmmaker, he could not ignore God's voice. He felt that something was missing, and he believed that he needed to give back to his Marble Hill community in New York.

For the past two years, Flores has taught children, teens and adults the art of filmmaking, through his company Third Eye Film Institute at St. Stephen's United Methodist Church in Bronx, New York. "On Saturdays, the students learn about basic production, writing, editing, operating the camera, acting and sound," said Flores. "This gives them an idea of what film making is all about, and they are able to understand it."

In June, the church hosted the Third Eye Film Festival. Families and friends got a taste of faith sharing and modern life through films produced and presented by four students. Flores believes it is equally important for filmmakers to see and hear the audience's feedback and reaction to their work. "The students are eager and excited about being involved in filmmaking," added the Rev. Nathaniel Dixon, pastor.

In the coming year, Flores plans to teach beginner and advanced filmmaking classes. This year, he had five students. The church also has more than 60 students enrolled in its music academy. Dixon, a trained musician, started the academy 10 years ago and is pleased that the community can see God at hand at St. Stephen's. "This opens the church to God's power and taps into the surrounding community," said Dixon.

AT A GLANCE St. Stephen's United Methodist Church  | 146 W. 228th St., Bronx, NY 10463 | 718-562-8692 | [email protected] | www.ststephensunitedmethodistchurch.org | Rev. Nathaniel Dixon | Average Attendance: 68 | New York Conference