Student Film Screens at FILMSCHOOLFEST Munich

SMC Student Film “Undocumented,” one of 2 U.S. Film Schools at Prestigious International Student Film Festival

Santa Monica College is one of two U.S. film schools invited to screen student films at the prestigious international student film festival FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH 2018 to be held Nov. 18 - 24 in Munich, Germany. “Undocumented”, a portrait of a young man brought illegally to the U.S. as a child—directed by Bishal Dutta and produced by Lindsay Eberts, Oscar Huezo, and Dennis Sandoval—will screen at the festival.

November 9, 2018

SANTA MONICA, CA—Santa Monica College (SMC) is one of two U.S. film schools to be invited to the FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH 2018 in Munich, Germany. The SMC student film “Undocumented”—directed by SMC alum Bishal Dutta and produced by students Lindsay Eberts, Oscar Huezo, and Dennis Sandoval—will screen at the festival. Regarded as one of the most prestigious student film festivals in the world, FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH 2018 will run from November 18 – 24.

The other U.S. film school invited is Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH 2018 will showcase films from a total of 34 film schools worldwide, in competition for 12 well-endowed awards including for Best Documentary, Best Film, Best Cinematography, and more. The SMC student film “Solidarity”— which was also a finalist for a BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) Award—won the "Prix Interculturel Special Mention" for Best Film Fostering Intercultural Dialogue at the 2014 FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH.

“Undocumented” is the 13th short film to come out of SMC’s award-winning film production program, and was made while Dutta was a student at SMC (he has since transferred to UC Berkeley). The film also garnered a Best Director award for Dutta at the 2018 Silicon Beach Film Festival. In addition, it has been an official selection for the LA Shorts Awards, the Highland Park Independent Film Festival, the Top Shorts Online Film Festival, the Austin Spotlight Film Festival, and the Santa Monica International Film Festival. The film also won Best Audio Visual Film at the Los Angeles CineFest, and was a semi-finalist at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

A six-minute short film, “Undocumented” is a portrait of a young man who was brought to the United States illegally as a child. Between hard physical labor and the freedom offered by the film sets on which he works, the short film offers a view on how U.S. immigration policy can leave such young people—and the country as a whole—without a future. However, it also shows how one can resist through the power of art in general and film in particular.

“I am particularly proud of this short film because it raises awareness about an important social issue by engaging the audience with a high level of artistry, and at the same time it documents how an undocumented student finds his inner compass by pursuing his dream of becoming a filmmaker,” said SMC Film Professor Salvador Carrasco, who heads the college’s film production program. “The fact that it was SMC that provided him with this opportunity is part of the reason why we created this film program in the first place.”

Students collaborate on one short film every semester, shooting on location to emulate the professional environment as closely as possible. Four of those short films were accepted into competition in the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase during the Cannes Film Festival ("Solidarity," "Cora," "Spaghetti Romance," and “Life in Color”). Several others have won awards at international and domestic film festivals including the Prague Independent Film Festival, the Panavision Limelight Award at the Ojai International Film Festival, the CinemadaMare Film Festival, and many more.

In 2017, the SMC Film Production program also received a $30,000 fellowship grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which produces the star-studded Golden Globe Awards, and a generous equipment donation from Keslow Camera.

Learn more about the SMC Film Production program, or email Carrasco_Salvador@smc.edu. SMC offers an Associate Degree and Certificate of Achievement in Film Production. Many student films are also on YouTube under the “Santa Monica College Film Program” channel.

For the full festival lineup and a list of other film schools participating in the FILMSCHOOLFEST 2018, visit the festival’s website: www.filmschoolfest-munich.de.

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About Santa Monica College

Founded in 1929, Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition to being California’s leader in transfers to UCLA, UC Berkeley, the University of Southern California, and Loyola Marymount University, SMC also offers more than 110 career training degrees and certificates. SMC provides news and cultural enrichment through its NPR radio station KCRW (89.9 FM) and The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center as well as lifelong learning through distinctive programs such as its Emeritus Program for older adults.