Several Santa Monica school students were award winners at the Fifth Annual Santa Monica Teen Film Festival, which screened 33 films over two days.
This year’s festival received over 180 submissions from across the country and Canada.
Top honors, and the winner of several awards, went to Batman Starts by Harry Keenan and Max Groel from Pacific Palisades. The film won “Best of the Fest, First Place,” “Best Live Action,” and “Audience Choice.” Chicken Little by Richard Mattox from Tallahasee, Florida won both “Best of the Fest, Second Place” and “Best Experimental/Music Video”.
The festival screened a number of documentaries this year including the “Best Documentary, First Place” award winner Drew Morton Goldsmith from Middleton, Wisconsin, for No Pity, about the depiction of people with disabilities. The “Best Documentary, Second Place” award went to an international submission, Enza and Thom by Jesse Bostick from Ontario, Canada.
The “Audience Choice” award on June 19 went to Adam Morina from Crossroads High School of Santa Monica for his film First Time.
Sergei Acuna from Santa Monica High School won the “Best Animation” award for Evolution of Scissors. The Santa Monica Budding Filmmaker Award—an award given each year to a local teen who displays the talent and passion for a future filmmaking career—was awarded to Nicole Andrews from Santa Monica High School. Two of Andrews’ films were screened at this year’s festival: Tap and Going Up Crazy.
Category winners of the Santa Monica Teen Film Festival were decided by a panel of industry professional judges and teen judges. The Audience Choice Award winners were decided by popular vote from the audience at each screening.