Valencia Film Celebration Concludes With Ralph Clemente’s “Heartbreak”


Diego Galicia

This was the first annual Film Celebration without Clemente, the founder and former chair of the school’s film program.

Valencia College celebrated one of Ralph Clemente’s last films, as the 21st Annual Film Celebration concluded on Saturday. The project titled “Heartbreak” was the last screening of the three-night event.

This was the first annual celebration without Clemente, the founder and former chair of the school’s film program; his final movie had people talking prior to the event’s start.

“Heartbreak” producer Randy Dyer added an anecdote about having Clemente and his son Parker Clemente, the first assistant director, on set. Going along the lines of the film’s plot and general theme, father and son were drawn together by their love of film and helped make his final directorial effort a success.

“I don’t think they were that close before, but working on the film sure made them closer,” Dyer said.

Film program chair Eric Fleming initially had reservations about airing the feature, but after everyone in the audience signed a confidentiality agreement, “Heartbreak” was played. The filmmakers are currently working with distributors to make it more widely available.

Once finished, the crowd gave a round of applause to Clemente before Fleming called all of the nights’ filmmakers to the stage for a short Q&A session.

“Clemente was one of the finest human beings that ever walked the Earth,” added an emotional audience member when Fleming asked for the final round of questions and comments.

The short film “The Fight” was also part of the schedule and delighted attendees with its entertaining blend of comedy, romance and action. Amongst the crowd was Camille Coladonato who starred, wrote and directed the short.

“Missy’s Musical Misadventure” completed the schedule and generated plenty of laughs with its funny musical dialogue. When the credits rolled, another tribute was given to Clemente, drawing heartfelt applauses from everyone in the room. Director Gerald Jackson, Jr. was also in attendance.

Local filmgoers should keep an eye out for “Heartbreak,” as it’s worth watching if a wider release is finally achieved.

The successful event drew a decent crowd overall and served as a fundraiser for the film program, with all the proceeds going to future student-made projects. Their cupcakes and soup definitely helped winning over the crowd.