Independent, Student Film Fest Aims To Bring People Together

Jean-Michel Millien in front of the posters for the Wellington Film Festival.

By Eve Rosen

Bringing people together on a global scale and inspiring today’s youth is the hope of teacher Jean-Michel Millien, who held a film festival at the Movies at Wellington on Thursday, May 10.

Millien will be holding another film festival on Sunday, May 27, at the Alco Boynton Cinema (9764 S. Military Trail, Boynton Beach).

“I don’t want our students to be content users, I want them to be content providers,” Millien explained.

Millien, the founder of the Wellington Film Festival, has been a teacher since 1979. He started out in the New York City public school system and eventually came to Florida to teach at Palm Beach Lakes High School, where he taught environmental and physical education.

This is the fourth year that Millien has put on this festival, and he has several films lined up. These films are mostly independent efforts made by people who live locally, such as Gary Davis, who has lived in Wellington for many years. His film is 2054: A Princess, a Soldier, and a Tailor.

Davis, who used to teach with Millien, taught at-risk students and hopes to provide these students with new outlets to express themselves. The film stars Lee Pinder and Hannah Kip, who is a student at Park Vista High School, as the main characters.

“We want to provide opportunities for everybody, young and old, to have the opportunity that I wish I had when I was younger,” Davis said. “I didn’t know that you could go to school or college for filmmaking when I was [younger].”

Hope and unity are major themes at this year’s film festival, which is shown through not only Millien’s hope to unify people globally, but also through one of the films being shown, called Hope’s Mission.

Author Victoria Yousefi wants to spread the message of love through the story of her son, who passed away on Valentine’s Day when he was 14 years old.

“We have to get on our feet and fight. If we don’t fight, we won’t get anywhere,” Yousefi explained.

Yousefi came to America from Iran in order to provide her children with a better life. She was a single mother and spreads the message of hope and love through the story of her son, and now her husband, Cary Mitnick, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Millien is excited to see people’s imagination and ideas come to life on the big screen. He plans on these film festivals spreading love and bringing people together in unity.

The public is invited to the May 27 film festival at the Alco Boynton Cinema. More information can be found online at