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Placeholder Image A student receives instruction on camera use.
photo credit: AV Film

Healdsburg has been without a public movie theater since 2020, now that situation looks set to change - with something big in store for local students. 

The Alexander Valley Film Society - now named AV Film - has hosted the Alexander Valley Film Festival since 2015.

AV Film executive director Kathryn Hecht said the organization has exciting plans for this year.

"We’re actually building a new movie theater in downtown Healdsburg, on top of which will be a full floor educational center," Hecht said.

Alongside the film festival, AV Film provides a number of programs for students, Hecht said.

"Inside the educational center will be our summer film camps," Hecht said. "We've been conducting summer film camps since 2015, and then we have an integrated film-making intensive that we take into classrooms in the public schools where they don't have media arts electives or training."

She said students, whether as part of a class, after school program, or at summer camp, learn about the film-making process from start to finish.

"The students are taken through the video making process from brainstorm to final edit," Hecht said. "They end the camp or the class with a three to five minute video. They can use it in, you know, resumes, portfolios, college applications."

Making sure AV Film’s student programs are accessible is a major goal for AV Film, Hecht said.

"We have five different camps, and as part of our equity work, we are committed to at least 25% of every camp, which only has 20 slots, is reserved for kiddos who need scholarships, but no student will be turned away for lack of funds," Hecht said.

The organization also partners with groups like the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and Little Saint Farms in Healdsburg to give film-making students the chance to explore their skills in different settings.

Hecht said AV Film is hoping to open the Plaza Cinema Center in Healdsburg this summer.

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