Dozens of student filmmakers from Portsmouth High School and Salve Regina University will screen their short films at the Aquidneck Island Student Film Festival on Monday, April 23 at Jane Pickens Theater, 49 Touro St.

Free and open to the public, the juried festival will feature about 10 films that will be screened in two categories: Original Short and Documentary. Student producers will be vying for $250 prizes for first place in each category. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and films will begin screening promptly at 7:30 p.m. following a reception.

“The Aquidneck Island Student Film Festival is dedicated to supporting the emerging voices in film by providing the young student filmmakers of Rhode Island an opportunity to showcase their work,” said Gary Vaspol, an English teacher and film/digital production coordinator at Portsmouth High School who is also an adjunct professor at Salve Regina.

Students participating on Monday are representing Salve Regina’s film studies program, the Salve Studios Student Film Production Club and the Portsmouth High School Academy of Media Communications and Digital Video Production.

In addition to screening their work at this inaugural festival, participating students will present a collaborative film project that showcases their respective production programs.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.