Beckman High School in the Tustin Unified School District will host a national high school student film showcase and competition on Saturday, April 30.
The eighth annual SoCal Student Film Festival, to be held from 3 to 10 p.m. in the Beckman Performing Arts Center, will feature top films in the following eight categories: animation, commercial, documentary, experimental, music video, narrative, news spot-feature and public service announcement.
Awards will honor the best film in each category, and individual achievement awards will be presented for acting, cinematography, directing, editing, production design, special/visual effects and writing. One visionary teen will be named SoCal Student Filmmaker of the Year.
Film entries are judged by a panel of more than 40 students, teachers and administrators, who build consensus through screenings of all submissions, discussions and debate, and we’re told various professional filmmakers will be invited to certify the consensus voting. The festival is supported by Taco Bell and sponsored by Canon, QSC Audio Products and the New York Film Academy.
This year, the film festival received 775 submissions from 50 states and 57 countries. Over 30 films from California, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Washington State, Portugal and Slovenia will be showcased to an audience of student filmmakers and fans.
The event will also feature industry explorations, panels, Q&As, workshops, a red carpet networking opportunity, a trade-show-style product booth provided by Canon, a DJ, a Taco Bell Food Truck and an awards show. College and Industry Exploration presenters will include Daniel Pensiero, vice president of casting at Paramount Studios; Emma Monden, a teenage YouTuber with 450,000 followers; teen television actor Niko Guardado; and the New York Film Academy.
Next year, the festival will expand to include a college-level bracket of competition, according to organizers, and the same award categories will apply separately to both high school and college. Additionally, next year’s judging will take place entirely online by crowdsourcing a consensus of students, teachers and professional filmmakers.
Festival tickets are $15 per person, and Beckman High is located at 3588 Bryan Ave. in Irvine. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.socalsff.com and/or follow on Instagram or Twitter @socalsff.