The Calabasas Film Festival Honors Local Student Filmmakers

Steven Spielberg made his first full-length independent film when he was just 16 years old and produced his first professional short while still in college. A panel of industry professionals chose 15 films created by local high school students to be screened during the Calabasas Film Festival’s Student Day this past September. Dedicated to honoring the future of the industry, this special day was focused solely on providing a platform to empower young filmmakers.

More than 150 high school students from Calabasas and the surrounding communities submitted films in five categories. This year, the New York Film Academy joined the festival as Presenting Sponsor. Winning students were awarded prizes worth over $20,000. In addition, the winner of Best Film received a one-week paid scholarship to attend The New York Film Academy Youth Camp in Los Angeles. Prior to the screenings, New York Film Academy instructor Bart Mastronardi hosted an introductory camera workshop. And following the awards ceremony, attendees were treated to a catered reception hosted by Bristol Farms.

This year’s 15 film finalists include: Graduates, Motive, Breaking Down Barriers, Underwater, and Tomorrow (Chaminade); The Pitch Room, Let Them Eat Cake, Starfish, and Sweet Escape (Viewpoint); Smile You’re On Camera, Enduring Love, Let’s Be Honest, and Circle (El Camino); Inner Thoughts (Calabasas High); and Unplugged (Oaks Christian).

The following five films received Outstanding Achievement awards: Let’s Be Honest for the entire ensemble; Enduring Love for editor Christian Morgan; Sweet Escape for writers Donovan Robertson and Nathan Alexander; Inner Thoughts for director Allyson Weissman; and Unplugged for Best Film. The movie’s director/editor/cinematographer David Saucedo and writer/actor Cameron Rossi accepted the award. Visit for more information.

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