Valencia Film Celebration to Unveil Two Student-Made Films

The 17th Annual Valencia Film Celebration will be held Feb. 16 and 17 and will showcase two feature-length films produced by Valencia College’s film production students.

This year’s showcase features screenings of  “My Fair Lidy” and “The Return of the Loch Ness Monster from Outer Space,” plus musical entertainment and showings of several award-winning short films.

The celebration kicks off each night at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the Performing Arts Center at Valencia College’s East Campus, located at 701 N Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, guests will view “My Fair Lidy,” a drama that stars Christopher Backus as Lidy, a macho, blue-collar worker who employs a little American ingenuity when faced with tough economic times. Under the mentorship of “Miss Sal,” Lidy embarks on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance – by becoming a drag queen.

Produced by veteran Florida casting director Sandi Bell, “My Fair Lidy” also features local actors Leigh Shannon, Rus Blackwell, Tom Nowicki and Dennis Neal. The film was directed by Ralph Clemente, who started Valencia’s Film Production Technology program, and Valencia students served as crew members on the shoot. Original music for the film was written and performed by Valencia music professors Alan Gerber and Troy Gifford, along with the Valencia College Orchestra.

Thursday’s entertainment will also include musical performances from Jazzmin and local disc-jockey duo, Blood Eagle, which will entertain the audience with its brand of “dethelektro/trash/maximal/rave music.”

On Friday, Feb. 17, fans of campy sci-fi will enjoy the debut of “The Return of the Loch Ness Monster from Outer Space,” a beach blanket bingo, rock-n-roll, sci-fi comedy, featuring surfers, bikini queens and an appropriately “scary” Loch Ness Monster.

After each film screening, the producers and cast will hold a question-and-answer session with the audience. Both films were produced by Valencia students in conjunction with industry professionals.

General admission tickets are $5 per evening. Area high school and college students are admitted for $3 with a valid school ID, and Valencia students, staff and faculty are admitted free.

To purchase tickets by phone, contact the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 407-582-2900. All proceeds will go to Valencia College’s film program to help fund student-produced films and shorts.

For more details, call Valencia’s Film Production office at 407-582-2413. Trailers for the films can be viewed online at