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Santa Monica College Student Film to Screen at Cannes  

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By Lookout Staff

April 17, 2017 -- A short film written and directed by Santa Monica College student Carrie Finklea will be screened during the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France next month, college officials announced Friday.

Finklea's film “Spaghetti Romance" has been accepted into The 20th American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, making it the only U.S. community college film represented, officials said.

It is the third film directed by a Santa Monica College student to be screened at the American Pavilion, which also will showcase films by students from the School of Visual Arts, UCLA, USC and the American Film Institute.
Spaghetti Romance poster

“Spaghetti Romance,” which stars actress Ronja Jansz, "is set in Sicily, where the protagonist, Abby, meets her girlfriend’s conservative mother for the first time and has to bridge cultural and generational gaps," college officials said.

It is one of 25 short films and documentaries by emerging filmmakers from around the world that will be screened at the showcase, which this year focuses on diverse themes that include the refugee crisis, terrorism, climate change and bullying, showcase officials said.

(Poster courtesy of Santa Monica College)

“This year’s showcase promotes cultural diversity amongst the films and filmmakers and I’m excited that more than half of the finalist films are directed by women,” said Monika Skerbelis, programming director.

Finklea -- whose film was co-produced by SMC and CinemadaMare, an Italy-based international and traveling film festival -- said that half of the filmmakers in the SMC program are women, which is "something far above the current state of affairs in Hollywood.”

“I want to continue making films that have something to say and that represent women with equity, complexity and dignity," Finklea said.

SMC student films have won numerous awards both regionally and internationally, school officials said.

“The mission of SMC’s film program is to provide the highest level of education at the lowest possible cost, and to ensure that our students' films have artistic integrity and challenge the world we live in,” said SMC Film Professor Salvador Carrasco, who heads the film production division.

“‘Spaghetti Romance’ is the perfect example of this," he said.

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