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Anab Mohamud has been in love with filmmaking since she was an elementary school student. “I would use my phone to record and upload videos to YouTube,” she remembered with a laugh. Now she’s a senior at Kent-Meridian High School (KM) and producing Kent’s first Film Festival on March 6.Kent Film Festival

Anab said that she was talking with her International Baccalaureate Film class teacher, Deborah Drake, about the lack of resources and film equipment they have. She had the idea of organizing a community film festival featuring videos from students in the class and submissions from the public to raise money for new microphones and other equipment.

“There’s people in Kent who love making films, but don’t have a platform to share them,” Anab said. “It’s a way for our community to connect and share what they’ve worked so hard on.”

Her teacher liked the idea and has helped Anab and her classmates bring it to life.

“They are very proud of what they’ve done, and they really want people to see it,” Drake, who has been teaching at Kent-Meridian for 14 years, said about her students. “It’s also a great way to let people know about this class.”

Drake’s IB film class is full of students like Anab who are excited about exploring the art of filmmaking and learning about the nuances of telling stories through pictures.

“I really love this class, you can show how creative you are, work with other people, and share new ideas,” Senior Joseph Sua said. “Some people are really good at one aspect, like editing, and others are great at filming, but if you combine them you can make something really beautiful.”

Drake said she loves this class because it allows students to express themselves.

“They come to class so excited,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite classes because I never have to convince them to work. They are so excited about what they’re doing.”

Anab also encourages students to try a film class.

“I would encourage people to take a film class if they ever get the chance,” she said. “It’s really fun to share your emotions and ideas through film. It lets us be us and make films about things we care about.”

Anab plans to attend college and pursue a career in the film industry after graduating in June.

“I don’t see a lot of people who look like me, black women, behind the camera working as directors and I want to do that,” she said.

She also wants the film festival to outlast her time at KM.

“I really want this to become an annual event,” she said. “It’s really exciting for people who want to share their films with the community.”

The Kent Film Festival is on Thursday, March 6 from 6-8 p.m. at Kent-Meridian High School. Tickets are $3 at the door.