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A group of students from Lompoc’s Clarence Ruth Elementary School went on a field trip Friday and experienced up close the sights and sounds of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes from the school traveled to Santa Barbara on a special field trip dubbed “Mike Goes to the Movies.” As part of the trip, which was sponsored and fully funded by the film festival, the students attended a screening of the 2017 Disney film “Coco” at the Arlington Theatre.

About 240 Clarence Ruth students took part in the trip, which also included about 25 adults, including teachers and chaperones. The students watched the movie with about 1,800 other students from around the Central Coast.

Madalyn Anderson, a fifth-grade teacher at Clarence Ruth, said the kids seemed to enjoy the trip and were captivated by the film.

“The theater was silent the whole time and eyes were glued to the screen,” she said. “Every now and then you would hear a sniffle as students tried to hide back their tears. This was a great kid/family movie and we are so honored to have been selected by the film festival to attend.”

About two weeks ago, prior to Friday’s trip, volunteers from the film festival visited Clarence Ruth and hosted an assembly about how to make films, Anderson said.

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She said some students reported that the assembly was “awesome,” while others said it inspired them to want to make movies.

The annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival began Jan. 31 and wrapped up Saturday.

This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at