From Moragawood to Hollywood

Bay Area Student ShortsMove over Hollywood: The Bay Area Student Shorts (BASS) film festival has launched in Moraga. On Friday, March 1, a capacity crowd filled the Moraga Room at the Soda Activity Center to watch 13 selected short films directed and produced by students from several Bay Area colleges. The films were selected from a pool of 35 submissions to be viewed at the inaugural film festival. Attendees nibbled on popcorn, M&M’s, and gummy bears in true theater style while enjoying the films, which were exceptionally diverse in content, genre, and production style.

Kasey James ’19, director and founder of BASS, was gracious as she stepped to the podium to welcome attendees and to thank the student filmmakers and faculty jurors who rated and scored the entries. “I was so happy to hear from the crowd about how great they thought the quality of the films was and how amazed they were that these were student films,” said James. “I was told that the event exceeded their expectations.” James will graduate from SMC in May and is pleased that there are volunteer students who want to continue BASS so it can evolve into an annual event. “I’m really excited to get started in the planning for next year. I’ve had several volunteers express their interest. Our plan is to have a team of students work in different positions so they can collaborate to put on a great student film festival. I’d love to see it be campus-wide and not just the Art Department, and eventually even other schools since it is for all of the Bay Area,” said James.  

Laura Elayne Miller, visiting assistant professor of art practice in the Art Department, served as one of the film jurors. “Kasey is one of my students, and her advisor, Andrew Mount, and I worked as a team to support her with this project. She asked me to be a juror, and I was honored,” said Miller. “We screened many films of different types and genres, and it was exciting to see such a high quality of student work. I loved the range of narrative documentary and experimental films that were submitted.” Miller applauded James for bringing BASS to fruition, noting that it is very exciting to begin to establish SMC as a center for student filmmaking. “We have undergraduate students all over the Bay Area working at their schools, and pretty soon they’ll go out into the real world and become part of the same community. So being able to bring them together as a community while they’re learning is really exciting because they’re the next generation of filmmakers,” said Miller.

Chris Camacho, a student at San Francisco State University, received the Best Cinematography award for his film, Into the Night. “The impetus for my film was based on a personal struggle. The main character is a girl who has no mother because she passes away in an accident, and she struggles to care for her family,” said Camacho. “It stems from the idea that a single parent has to support the whole family, and that’s what I had to go through when my single mother had to support our family—and the fear of something happening to her and what would follow.” Camacho was thrilled to receive the award and expressed that the inaugural film festival was “very cool and well-organized.” The award for Best Story went to Yumeng Goo for The Night Shift, and the award for Best Editing went to Justin Mahoney for Litter.

Here are the 13 films shown during the BASS event and the category award winners:

Sport Coat

Director: Cale d’Oleire

Genre: Narrative

 

Views From Bernal Heights

Director: Grace Villaroman

Genre: Experimental

 

All the Toys in the World

Director: Christopher Francis

Genre: Narrative

 

Thirst

Director: Jack Fanburg

Genre: Experimental

 

Into the Night (Best Cinematography)

Director: Chris Camacho

Genre: Narrative

 

Euphoria

Director: Kevin Shum

Genre: Experimental

 

Run

Director: David Tschan

Genre: Narrative

 

Belief Dictates Outcome

Director: Grace Villaroman

Genre: Animation

 

Screw Cap

Director: David Tschan

Gere: Narrative

 

Rupert

Director: Casey Nicholl, Katrina Repar, Alex Pidoux

Genre: Narrative

 

The Night Shift (Best Story)

Director: Yumeng Guo

Genre: Documentary

 

Litter: The Story of the Children of the World That Gave Up on the World by Choosing Convenience Over Clean (Best Editing)

Director: Justin Mahoney

Genre: Experimental

 

The King of Hearts Magic Society

Director: Olivia Popp

Genre: Narrative