Founded in 1929, Santa Monica College is considered one of the premier community colleges within the Los Angeles area, leading the 113 community colleges in the region in transfers to schools within the UC (University of California) system. The school currently holds an enrollment of 30,000 and offers over 90 fields of study spread out over five separate campuses, including a fairly new film production program, which was added to the school’s curriculum in 2013 offering Associates Degrees and Certificates of Achievement in film production. These programs provide a hands-on learning approach for fields such as creative and logistical production, directing, cinematography, audio and film studies, while also teaching techniques applicable to different types of filmmaking ranging from narrative drama to documentary to music video production.
After receiving a $30k fellowship grant from the HFPA, the school is using the money to fund the production of two student films throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. These films will be produced for the Film 33 class labeled “Making the Short Film”, one of the most important courses offered by the program, required to obtain an Associate Degree in Production. Students are tasked with collaborating on one short film per semester, shooting on location and striving to emulate as professional an environment as possible. The funding provided by the grant means a lot more time can be spent on pre-production and production itself rather than on the daunting and tedious task of fundraising and crowdfunding, ultimately resulting in a better-developed project. Of the short films produced in the class, three (Solidarity, Cora and Spaghetti Romance) were accepted into the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival. This also marks the largest first-time grant awarded to a college in the HFPA’s 27 years of philanthropic efforts, furthering the HFPA’s mission to foster education, diversity and creative expression through art and film. As stated by HFPA president Meher Tatna, “With the gift of this grant which will go toward the school’s Film Production Program, we look forward to the great accomplishments these aspiring filmmakers will achieve in their bright future.”
To learn more about Santa Monica College and its Film Program, visit: http://smc.edu/AcademicPrograms/Communication/Pages/Film-Production.aspx