From walking by the Fox Theater, to actually hosting an event there.

Marlowe Lewis-Mahon and Alexander Leto never imagined that they would someday host a film festival during Fullerton’s monthly Art Walk on March 2.

Lewis-Mahon, 20 and Leto, 22 are both film students at Fullerton College. Having worked on a few projects together, this has to be their biggest one yet.

As children, they both imagined themselves as filmmakers when they grow up. Although Lewis-Mahon changed his mind a few times on career paths, Leto stuck to his dreams of being a filmmaker.

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Alexander Leto trying to figure what was captured on this film. Photo credit: Alejandra Malagon

“I usually don’t show my work,” said Leto talking about his film “Bloom.” “But Fullerton College is helping me subvert, you know. This was the first film everyone really liked.”

“I’m more of a behind-the-scenes type of guy,” said Lewis-Mahon. “I just enjoy visual story telling. Whether it be music composition, acting, or directing, I enjoy it.”

He thanks his experience in high school theater for preparing him for this project. “I directed the school production of “Love Actually.” Richard Curtis, who is actually the writer/director even wrote a review. It was pretty awesome.”

Working on film isn’t an easy process compared to digital film. They both agreed that film can be a labor of love.

There comes a lot of uncertainty as you don’t know what to expect when working with 16mm film. You don’t know what you have until your film gets developed. If that wasn’t stressful enough, they have to travel all the way to Burbank to have their film developed.

“I enjoy the stress,” said Leto. “But the stress is always paid off at the end. It’s like the good kind of stress. Great excitement, but horrible fear as I like to say.”

When being asked how the idea of the Film Festival got started, they both began to smile as they explain with such enthusiasm how it all happened.

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Marlowe Lewis-Mahone explaining the different types of film that can be used to make a movie. Photo credit: Alejandra Malagon

“How did we come up with this? I don’t know it just happened,” said Lewis-Mahon as he begins to laugh. “When I first got here, I thought ‘oh man that theater is cool’.”

“We’ve gone in the theater before for a previous Art Walk,” Leto said. “We just never made it past the stage.”

“We walked by one day and thought, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we showed one of our films here?’” Lewis-Mahon . “Well why not?”

By just sending an email to Leland Wilson, President of the Fullerton Historic Theater Foundation, their dreams came true.

“He thought it was a great idea and invited us back to the theater for a meeting. He showed us around and we were just in awe.”

“It looked a little run down, but you can tell it still has that beauty and charm,” said Leto. “Besides all the dust, it is very nostalgic”.

“It’s just amazing in there,” said Lewis-Mahon. “Some people haven’t been here in years or haven’t even been there at all. We just hope they enjoy it as have we”.

They are still reminding themselves everyday that this is really happening. “We just thought it was a cool idea. Couldn’t believe no one has thought of this before,” said Leto.

The films that will be shown during the Art Walk on March 2 are all made by students who have or are attending Fullerton College.

“Believe it or not, we recently found out that Fullerton is actually the only school that still teaches film in the Orange County and Los Angeles County area,” said Lewis-Mahon.

“Everyone does digital film rather than actual film nowadays. It’s become like a lost art form of some sort.”

Working with their friends, such as Dean Smith, Caryn Panozzo and more, they guarantee that everyone will enjoy the films created by these talented students.

You will even see some of Leto’s work “DCLXVI” (or you can just call it “Fun Times With Magic”) and “Something Happened at the Train Station.”

“We just want everyone to be synonymous with the college program,” said Lewis-Mahon.

“But this won’t be a formal sit down movie, but more of an art show.”

They plan to exhibit not just film, but photography and other art from students.

“We’re open to suggestions. If you want to be a part of this, feel free to email us. We had a ton of digital film submissions, but we are only doing 16mm film for now.”

“If this event turns out to be a success, then we would be more than happy to invest in a digital film projector. We’re hoping for this to be a frequent thing.”

For more information regarding this upcoming event, please see the Fox Theater website.

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