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Santa Monica Festival Spotlights Teen Filmmakers

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By Lookout Staff

May 26, 2015 -- Teen filmmakers from Santa Monica, the United States and around the world will showcase their talents at the 10th annual Santa Monica International Teen Film Festival.

Taking place Saturday, June 6, and Sunday, June 7, at venues around Santa Monica, the festival highlights 38 short films -- the average length is 4 minutes -- created by teens from across the United States as well as from countries including India, Russia, Ireland, Thailand, Mexico and England.

Judges whittled down this year’s winning films from more than 320 submissions. Local filmmakers include students from Santa Monica High School, New Roads High School, Harvard Westlake and other area campuses.

On Saturday, June 7 at 9 p.m., at the Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Boulevard, the festival kicks off with a screening of “Little Red,” a creepy take on “Little Red Riding Hood.” Created by 17-year-old Wynter Rhys of North Bend, Washington, the film has won numerous festival awards.

Another featured screening that evening will be “Attack of the Killer Skeleton From Outer Space,” a humorous short from student Will Smith of Lakeland, Florida. Because of some mild violence and mature themes, the screening session is rated PG-13, organizers said.

The festival continues Sunday, June 7, with animated short movies at the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium at the Santa Monica Main Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Featured films include “Bee Eff Eff's,” a Claymation production by 17-year-old New Road High student Tiana Marsh, and 13-year-old San Francisco filmmaker Emma Penaz's experimental film “Will I Scatter Away,” among other shorts.

An awards ceremony will immediately follow Sunday’s screening, from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Judges will hand out more than a dozen awards including “Best of the Fest,” “Best Animation,” “Best Documentary,” “Best Music / Video Experimental” and “Best Live Action.”

An “Audience Choice” award also will be given after each screening. The audience will vote for the winner immediately following the screening.

The festival is sponsored by the Relativity School, the first and only school of its kind created with a major Hollywood studio offering accredited bachelor's degrees in film and digital content, acting, commercial dance and art.

The overall winner of the festival will receive a full scholarship to Relativity School's three-week summer program.

The Festival is produced by the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division, the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library, SMPL Youth Services, the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center and City TV.

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