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Humboldt County participates in statewide film festival

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EUREKA - Humboldt County is participating in a unique opportunity this week. The Project Accessible Hollywood Festival, a statewide film festival aimed at making Hollywood more available to Northern California communities, specifically amateur filmmakers.

“It gives these kids a voice, an outlet, a way to find their voice. And they might not all love it but that might find wow, I like expressing myself and this is one way to do it,” Cassandra Hesseltine, film commissioner, said.

Humboldt County is invited to participate in the Project Accessible Hollywood Film Contest or the PAH fest.

“We're kind of bringing the opportunity to non-filmmakers and people who never had the experience, to try themselves in cinematography. Giving them the cameras and all the editing gear,” Lasha Zambakhidze, co-director of the PAH Fest, said.

Festival participants sign up, receive camera equipment, and then have just this one-week to shoot, edit, and submit their piece. Some submission categories include a 60 second continuous cell phone flick, a 2-minute HD video, or an art film using a 4k camera.

“It's key to experiment with it before it can be so overwhelming and invasive. These everyday technologies. So you have to be able to control it and create a concise and and directed manner. So you can reach a lot of people,” Bailey Coppola, tech assistant for the PAH Festival, explained.

Humboldt County elementary students all the way up to college students are participating in the festival. One media production class at Eureka High School has brought the festival into the classroom.  

“Learning how to manage your time, organize, prethink, directing, acting, editing, it's the total thought. Plus it’s that creativity element that people claim high schools are ignoring these days but we aren't,” Philip Middlemiss, teacher at Eureka High, said.

The deadline for submission is this Friday at 7 p.m.. All projects will be uploaded to their website, and then public voting will begin. A viewing event will be held Sunday night with cash prizes for the winners.

“We live in this beautiful part of the world where our accessibility to this kind of stuff is not as easy. We can't just jump to LA and say hey I want to participate in this. So it's exciting it's coming to us,” Hesseltine said.

To check out the submissions or for more information, you can visit their website at