SoCal Student Film Festival 2016

By Johnathon Froman, Jacqueline Martinez

The SoCal Student Film Festival is a center for student-made films in Southern California and is now charging into its eighth year. A nationally recognized media arts teacher from Beckman High School named Chris Perdue is the founder of the SoCal Student Festival and has boldly led the Festival into creating and showing off truly astonishing works of art. In Tustin High School, Eric Zamora–a teacher who has recently begun his first year of teaching Digital Film-making–praised Perdue and described him as an outstanding role model. He stated that every time he had struck out when teaching his students film techniques, he e-mailed Perdue to “pick his brain.”

After teaching this elective for less than a year, Zamora is already submitting to the festival and is extremely excited to show off his students’ work. As part of their semester final, students were to create a short documentary. The best of which he would pick to be entered. “They surpassed my expectations,” Zamora said as he revealed that three of his students had crafted short films which showed enough creative spark he deemed capable enough to enter into the festival.

However, it is a tough competition to win as only the best twenty-seven films out of an ocean of submissions from over 500 high schools will be selected to be one of the films seen in the festival’s two-hour presentation. In addition, the sharp entrance requirements narrow even further as documentaries such as the ones made by Zamora’s students can only be submitted to one of nine categories. With only three spots available, the chances for Tustin High School’s submissions will be slim. Regardless, Zamora is hopeful that at least one of students’ short documentaries will make the cut. One of these submitted documentaries, created by Forrester Sherrick, surrounds the history of his grandmother, a Sicilian immigrant who traveled to America to escape a life filled with violence from the threat of the mafia.

The SoCal Student Film Festival will be held on a Saturday on April 30th at Beckman High School (3588 Bryan Ave. Irvine, CA). The event starts at 4PM and ends at 9PM. More information can be found on

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