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Santa Monica College Film Program Receives Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grant


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By Lookout Staff

August 14, 2017 -- The organization that produces the annual Golden Globe Awards has given Santa Monica College a $30,000 fellowship grant to help fund its award-winning Film Production Program, school officials announced last week.

The grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which was presented to the Santa Monica College Foundation (SMCF) at an awards ceremony August 2, will fund the production of two short films by students, officials said.

SMC was one of five new recipients of $2.8 million in grants awarded to more than 55 nonprofit organizations and scholarship programs that "emphasize diversity and inclusiveness," school officials said.

SMC's grant was the largest first-time grant awarded to a college by the HFPA, which claims members from 56 countries, HFPA officials said.

"Santa Monica College directly serves the underrepresented students the HFPA aims to provide with equal opportunities to pursue their passion." said Meher Tatna, president of the 74-year-old organization.

The grant will fund two short films produced by SMC students during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters for SMC’s Film 33, “Making the Short Film,” school officials said.

The films, which are shot on location to "emulate the professional environment as closely as possible," are among the final requirements of both the Associate of Science Degree in Film Production and Associate of Arts Degree in Film Studies, program officials said.

“Unquestionably the biggest challenge for our students has been to raise the money to make these films,” said Salvador Carrasco, Head of SMC’s Film Production Program. “The HFPA grant will allow us to focus on creative issues and devote time to pre-production rather than to arduous crowd-funding campaigns.

"Our students make films that genuinely have something to say, and this grant is a validation of their talent, hard work, and great attitude," Carrasco said. "We are incredibly grateful for this invaluable support.”

Three short films produced by SMC students -- "Solidarity," "Cora" and "Spaghetti Romance" -- have been accepted into competition in the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase during the Cannes Film Festival ("Santa Monica College Student Film Headed to Cannes," April 27, 2016 and "Santa Monica College Student Film to Screen at Cannes," April 17, 2017).

Several others, including most recently "Munecas," have won awards at international and regional film festivals ("Santa Monica College Student Film Wins Top Prize at International Festival," August 11, 2017).

To learn more about SMC’s Film program, visit or email Student films are on YouTube under the “Santa Monica College Film Program” channel.


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